Lilongwe, Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCM) has asked government to recruit and deploy meteorologists to district councils to help interpret seasonal forecast and ensure that communities are warned in good time.

DCCMs Director, Joram Nkhokwe made the call on Thursday in Zomba where his department in collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) were disseminating 2019-2020 district downscaled rainfall seasonal forecasts.

Nkhoswe said the department is facing gaps in generation of meteorological data due to lack of meteorologists at the district level.

“Generation of the national seasonal rainfall forecast comes from districts. However, due to various challenges at the district level that includes unprocessed data, the department releases seasonal forecasts that are based on estimated data. This has contributed to issues of inaccuracy in weather forecast information,” he said.

Nkhokwe also bemoaned lack of equipment that would help the department access accurate data and not just relying on data generated from the satellite.

“As a country we need well trained personnel and modern equipment to help us generate accurate data that can be disseminated to the communities in good time and avoid the weather related disasters,” he said.

District Commissioner (DC) for Phalombe, Rodrick Mateauma conquered with Nkhokwe, saying there are a lot of gaps in information dissemination on seasonal forecasts because there are no weather experts at the district level to  help interpret any data the district generates before disasters hit.

“The communities are always ready to hear from us but most times we do not have handy information to warn them of the upcoming disaster. This is because we rely on the national forecast which is too general.”

The workshops will help DCCMs to consolidate the recommendations raised by stakeholders in various districts for effective planning for potential disasters and extreme weather events.

MET and DoDMA are facilitating workshops for dissemination of 2019-2020 district downscaled rainfall seasonal forecasts in five  districts under scaling up the use of Modernized Climate Information and Early warning systems (M-CLIMES) project.

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