By Luganda David AFMC/NECJOGHA

JINJA, UGANDA:The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) is to start using coloured flags at landing sites as one of the innovative ways of delivering weather forecast to fishermen and other lake users.

Julius  Kiprop the Project Manager WISER HIGHWAY project which is under UNMA , said they shall put up a green flag to indicate no danger or safety of the lake, an amber flag to demonstrate that the lake is potentially dangerous  and a red flag  to indicate  dangerous and potentially life threatening weather conditions.

Kiprop said this at the sub national climate café organized by the Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) at the Mansion Hotel in Jinja on 27th May. It was attended by scientists from UNMA and National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), journalists, fisheries experts, farmers and members of civil society organisations.

“The forecasts should use  standard terms expressed in simple language which is easy for fishermen and other lake users to understand. Each standard term shall be describing a defined range of scientific measurement and also describing  an impact upon the environment in Lake Victoria with which fishermen are familiar,’ Kiprop said in his presentation at the cafe.

The District Environment Officer of Jinja, Ogwal Willy who officially opened the climate café encouraged journalists to generate actual information that can guide action.

 He also added that information may cause loss and destruction if not well reported and therefore journalists should communicate actual, well researched and simply packaged information.

Margaret Kyolaba Kulaba, the head of the NGO Forum in Jinja, thanked NECJOGHA for choosing to hold the café in Jinja. She also castigated other NGOs which claim to be fighting for issues like protection of the environment but don’t come out to discuss these issues with the stakeholders as NECJOGHA has done.

Emily Arayo, the Public Relations Officer of the National Fisheries Research Institute (NaFIRRI) based at Masese in Jinja called on journalists to report factually and to research on issues they are going to report on. Her counterpart Dr. Wanda Fred , also from NaFIRRI, warned people of venturing into fish farming without enough information and expertise.

The executive director of NECJOGHA, Patrick Luganda said climate cafe is a public discourse on the weather, climate and climate services especially climate forecasting services from end user interaction.

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