Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization
Tanzania has been selected to pioneer a Climate Services Adaptation Programme with US$10 million set aside for the purpose, WMO Secretary-General, Michel Jarraud told President Jakaya Kikwete at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland where the COP 19 is being held.
Malawi will also take part in the program.
According to a State House communiqué that was yesterday circulated to the media, the programme is the result of an agreement between the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the government of Norway and is meant to increase climate change resilience of some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Africa is the most vulnerable continent susceptible to a wide range of climate change effects and it is already facing a decrease in food production, floods and inundation of coastal zones and deltas, as well as the spread of waterborne diseases and malaria.
The programme will allow farmers to fine-tune their planting and marketing strategies based on seasonal climate forecasts, empower disaster risk managers to prepare more effectively for droughts and heavy precipitation, assist public health services to target vaccine and other prevention campaigns to limit climate-related disease outbreaks such as malaria and meningitis, and help improve the management of water resources.
“This is a pilot project. We have chosen Tanzania because she is exemplary as far as metrological services and climate change issues are concerned,” the General Secretary told Kikwete.
“When you see countries like Saudi Arabia being affected by heavy floods which so far have claimed four lives, know that indeed there is climate change. We all know that Saudi Arabia is a desert and it is affected by drought. Now, it is affected by floods,” the General Secretary said.
President Kikwete commended WMO for various assistances it has offered to Tanzania to address the effects of climate change.
Kikwete agreed with the WMO General Secretary that climate change is a big challenge and the effects can’t be ignored.
Kikwete who is the Chairman of the African Union Heads of State and Government on Climate Change is attending Climate Change United Nations Conference in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19).