African leaders unite to modernize hydromet services
African leaders come together this week for action on modernizing weather and climate services, which inextricably link the Continent’s development, climate, and resilience agendas.
Weather and climate drive nine out of ten disasters in Africa, threatening Africa’s hard-won development gains. Floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, and landslides continue to cause heavy damage and losses to livelihoods. Over the last two decades, these disasters have cost the continent US$10 billion dollars. Given the increasing climate variability, these disasters are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. “Effective hydromet services, such as advanced weather and climate forecasting or simple – and sustainable – river level gauges, ensure that communities have the early warnings needed to prepare before disasters hit. Climate services permit government agencies to effectively plan for climate change based on the latest information, and businesses in climate-sensitive sectors to incorporate timely, accurate data in the decisions that affect their industry.” – Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization