THE development of weather and climate services is crucial in the present-day of climate change, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has said. Cde Kasukuwere said last week during the commissioning of the automated weather station at Mutare Fire Station. The automated weather station was put up by the Meteorological Department of Zimbabwe in partnership with the French-based Meteo France International who supplied the high-tech automated technology.
Cde Kasukuwere said in view of climate change globally, his ministry had since been tasked to co-ordinate the development of a National Policy on Climate Change, which can only be achievable with accurate weather and climate records available.
“It is therefore critical that we capacitate the Meteorological Services Department so that it is able to deliver relevant, quality and timely data and information.
“Weather and climate data are a vital cog in the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe.
“With agriculture being the mainstay of our economy, most of which relies on rainfall, it became clear to Government that weather and climate forecasts are essential to the success of our country,” he said.
Cde Kasukuwere added that their donation of the automated equipment bears testimony of France’s commitment to the development of Zimbabwe.
He said such partnerships were vital as Government implements the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
He said their immediate aim as a ministry was to increase the number of meteorological stations so that every district is adequately covered.
France’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Laurent Delahousse, said his country was committed to building a constructive relationship with Zimbabwe.
“This partnership between MFI and Zimbabwe’s MSD along with other partnerships by other French organisations in the past is an indication that as France we want to mend our relationships and partner with Zimbabwe to help mend your economy.
“There have been difficult times in Zimbabwe, but I come with a positive message. We want to look at a common future of development, investment and employment creation in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The new automated weather station records data every minute (in real time) and is solar powered unlike the old weather stations which recorded data hourly and worked with electrical energy.
The data collected also uses special international codes that are certified by the World Meteorological Organisation.
The automated weather stations which record weather in real time have also ushered way for the mobile weather update facilities now available on NetOne mobile networks.
Also present at the event was Mutare Mayor, Councillor Tatenda Nhamarare, the chief executive officer of Meteo France International, Mr Patrick Benichou, and the director of the MDZ, Dr Amos Makarau.