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UNMA to Install Automatic Weather Station in Moroto :: Uganda Radionetwork

UNMA to Install Automatic Weather Station in Moroto

The station will capture records of wind movements, Rainfall, Pressure, air temperature, and radiation.
UNMA team, DRESS EA, and the Moroto district officials during the site handover for the construction of Weather Station in Rupa Sub County

Audio 4

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority-UNMA has started the construction and installation of the automatic weather station in Rupa Sub County, Moroto district.

The contract was awarded to Hamtex Services Limited at the tune of over 200 million Shillings. This is among the 85 automatic weather stations spread across the country and it will be capturing records on wind movements, Rainfall, Pressure, air temperature, and radiation.

Alex Sempa, the Senior Meteorologist in charge of installations at UNMA, said that procurement of the equipment is complete and the installations are expected to take one month.

The automatic weather station will be networked and send information to the early warning center at the UNMA headquarters. He added that the station will be capturing whatever happens in 15-minute intervals for 24 hours.

He observed that farmers in Moroto district have not been getting accurate information on weather focus because they used to rely on the weather station in Kotido district could not provide accurate records due to different weather changes in various locations.

Sempa explained that the weather station will step up the forecast accuracy and timely records to ensure that the farmers are updated.

He said that community weather observers will be selected and trained to support in monitoring the station to ensure its safety.

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Eng. Annette Kezia Nantogo, the Senior Water Officer in the Ministry of Water and Environment noted that the Weather station is part of the DRESS-EA project aimed at strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers and Pastoralists to climate change risks in the region.

Natongo said that the establishment of the weather station will strengthen the knowledge and awareness of drought risk management among the farmers.

She observed that all along farmers have not been getting reliable weather focus from the UNMA due to a lack of weather stations to assess the accurate forecast. 

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Joseph Otita, the LCIII Chairperson of Rupa Sub County said there have been gaps in the weather reports that have kept farmers misled.

Otita is optimistic that the automatic weather station should be able to bridge the gaps and ensure it provides timely information so as to prepare the farmers.

Otita also noted that they have experienced rains in the last two weeks and the community is skeptical of planting crops because they are not sure of its reliability.

He vowed to ensure that there was maximum security at the station to avoid vandalism by the wrong element in society.

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Cosmas Ayepa, the Moroto district general Secretary for social services said that the district has been using a manual weather station that is outdated and was not giving accurate information.

Ayepa observed that the situation forced them to rely on the forecast report from Kampala which used to betray them sometimes.

He urged the sub-county officials where the weather station is based to guard it jealously so that farmers can make the best use of the services.

Ayepa also appealed to the government to consider finding possible solutions to preserve the rainwater so that farmers can use it for cultivation.

He said that although the weather station will help in providing weather updates, food insecurity remains a challenge due to unreliable rains for farming.

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