By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
Kampala, Uganda – Ugandans have been urged to urgently tackle the causes of climate change to be able to feed the ever growing population.
“In 1960, the population of Uganda was only four million but it’s now estimated to be over 40 million. This increased population need food yet production of food is being affected by climate change,” Dr. Festus Luboyera, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) said at the closure of a two training workshop for radio journalists on the dissemination of marine weather forecasts at Silver Springs Hotel last week.
The training was organized by UNMA’s project. HIGHWAY which is an acronym for High Impact Weather lAke sYstem. The project is being delivered by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and funded by the British government through its development aid arm the DFID and is meant to improve safety on Lake Victoria by providing fishermen and other lake users with timely weather forecasts.
On the effects of climate change in the world, Luboyera gave the example of France where the temperature reached 45°C which had never happened before.
Luboyera also called on the journalists to always be accurate with the forecasts they get from UNMA citing the example of a famous meteorologist turned BBC weather broadcaster Michael Fish, who made an error with a forecast and it spoiled his long built reputation where he had made many accurate forecasts.
In an infamous weather broadcast in October 1987 Michael Fish wrongly denied claims a hurricane was going to hit Britain. Hours after he said there was no hurricane coming a hurricane hit causing devastation across the UK that claimed 18 lives.
Luboyera also warned the media against picking weather forecasts anywhere on the internet and presenting it as the weather forecast.
“UNMA by an act of Parliament is the only organization allowed to issue forecasts and whoever issues forecasts which are not by us is committing an offence and is liable to prosecution,” Luboyera warned.
On the just concluded training on marine forecasting, Luboyera said UNMA and the journalists who had just completed training are now partners.