African countries get new tool to predict climate-related disasters

A new weather forecasting system in Africa allows meteorologists to track approaching storms in real time, potentially saving lives from climate-related disasters, scientists said on Monday.

The technology is already used in developed countries but was not available until recently in most of sub-Saharan Africa, according to scientists behind the project at the University of Leeds.

“We had forecasting methods before but they were not as good,” said David Koros, principal meteorologist at the Kenya Meteorological Department.

“It’s very important because we can issue information for the safety of lives, property and the environment,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The new method, called nowcasting, was tested in Kenya last year. The state now uses it regularly and it has helped with the evacuation of people affected by landslides and mudslides in Western Kenya and flooding on Lake Victoria, Koros said.

Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana also have teams interpreting the satellite-derived data and issuing warnings through an initiative funded by the British government.

Credit : Reuters

 

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