By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet) on Thursday, said it would collaborate with the National Space Research and Development Agency, (NASRDA) on the application of Geographical Information System (GIS) to meteorology.
The effort, it noted, was to complement the existing surface weather stations in the country thereby improving the accuracy of NiMet’s forecasts and other climate services.
Director-General/CEO NiMet, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, while hosting his NARDSA counterpart, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, in Abuja, said, “there is need to strategically partner with NASRDA because of the abounding mutual benefits that is inherent in the synergy. Satellite imagery helps in effective forecasting”.
Sani, explained that, Geographical Information System (GIS), was designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present spatial or geographical data. GIS and satellite images could also be used to extract surface temperature for an area instead of using only surface station data.
According to him, “with the current density of ground weather observation stations, the agency can leverage on NASRDA’s expertise on satellite communication, juxtaposed with its ground information to churn out sophisticated weather forecasts.
He said, “There is a tool that NASRDA possesses which could be effectively utilised to enhance the services of NiMet”.
Re-echoing the observation of the NiMet DG, the Director-General, NASRDA, Professor Mohammed, stressed the importance of government organisations working together for the greater good of Nigerians, “when we work together, we find a common solution to a common problem and therefore improve the livelihood of Nigerians’’.
Mohammed added that NASRDA would assist NiMet in providing feedback on predicted flood areas, the accuracy of the flood predictions, as well as train staff of the agency on GIS application to meteorology.
He therefore expressed optimism that this would bridge the gap of low density of NiMet weather stations to conform to the recommendations of the World Meteorological Organisations on composition and establishment of weather stations.
Consequently, the two agencies agreed to set up an eight-man inter-agency technical committee, with the responsibility to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding that will identify critical areas of synergy as well as point out possible limitations.Ezeemo added.