By Luganda David AFMC/NECJOGHA
Kampala, Uganda- Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has launched a 24-hour Marine forecast on Lake Victoria for fishing boats, small crafts and communities in and around the lake. This will be issued twice a day to provide early warning to save lives and property.
Last week Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) organized a training of trainers workshop in Kampala under the HIGHWAY Project which was attended by Weather Analyst and forecasters from UNMA, fishermen, media experts and the Uganda Police Force maritime section. The workshop of trainers was followed this week by a training for radio journalists from 12 selected radio stations around Lake Victoria.
Fishermen on Lake Victoria and islands in Lake Victoria are to be provided with forecast bulletins that cover a period of 24 hours but the forecasts will be six hourly.
HIGHWAY, which stands for High Impact Weather lAke sYstem, is being delivered by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and funded by the British government through its development aid arm the DFID and implemented by the Weather Information Servicers (WISER) project of the UK Met Office working with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, the East African Community (EAC), the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Robert Powell, the Communication Consultant of the HIGHWAY Project said that the main aim of this project is to improve the forecasting of severe weather in the Lake Victoria region.
“The 24 hours forecast released twice a day will give people guidance about when its safe to travel on the lake and when to stay on the shores. When there is severe weather people planning to use the lake will have information to take proactive actions whether to wear a life jacket, carry enough fuel with them when they decide to sail on the water,” Powell said .
The UNMA HIGHWAY Project Manager, Julius Kiprop explained that the weather forecast will be disseminated to the ender users through districts platforms , local radio stations, whatsapp, SMS message, NGOs, social media and other stakeholders to community leaders and intermediaries and those will share with their neighbors.
Mentors will be identified and trained who will be reviewing this forecast and they will relay the message to the end users and that platform will help us receive feedback from user. He said.
Kule Philip a fisherman from Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe district said that this forecast will help them to know whether its safe to go fishing or not