Meteo Rwanda Launches Forecast Information Survey

Farmers have in some instances relied on weather forecast information which turns out to be different

The Rwanda Meteorology Agency (Meteo Rwanda) has launched door-to-door household survey that will inform the agency on how many Rwandans receive updates on weather forecast.

The survey kicked off on November 2nd and will go through the whole month to solve conflict between farmers and the agency where citizens have said that weather forecast don’t correspond to the actual conditions.

“There are instances when the agency predicts rain and farmers start planting but sometimes it doesn’t rain which affects our agricultural output,” Theoneste Manirakiza, a farmer told KT Press.

Part of the survey will see Meteo Rwanda officials meet and discuss with local authorities and 100 farmers from 15 districts on how the data is utilised to determine economic activities.

The survey will be conducted in districts of Nyabihu, Musanze, Burera, Rulindo, Gasabo, Nyagatare, Rwamagana, Ngoma, Bugesera, Muhanga, Karongi, Rusizi, Nyamagabe, Huye and Nyanza.

John Ntaganda Semafara, Director General of the Rwanda Meteorology Agency, said the objective is to assess and monitor economic benefits of meteorological services and increase awareness on weather and climate information within current and potential user communities.

“The survey will improve the range of weather and climate information available to inform decision making at all levels in Rwanda and promote its understanding and application,” Ntaganda said.

“This survey is an opportunity to gather data on whether information being provided by Meteo Rwanda, meet farmers’ needs and if they are getting the valuable benefit of using weather information in their activities,” said Anthony Twahirwa, Division Manager of Weather/ Climate Services and Applications.

The agency is set to release an application to bridge the gap in dissemination of weather information and updates on any changes in the forecasts that will be made by the agency.

Recently the agency installed four new automatic weather stations to add to the 308 weather forecast points countrywide enabling the agency to provide area weather data.

The database is collected in eight forms of forecasts including; wind speed, rain patterns, cloud formations and storms among others from one day to a season.

This number is set to increase to 328 after the installation of ten additional automatic weather stations and ten more semi-automatic weather stations, which shall be upgraded to full automatic stations over the next year.




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