The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday handed over climate early warning equipment worth N$ 6.3 million to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to enable accurate forecasting of climate events.
The equipment includes an advanced special work station and other high-tech devices that will be used to provide early warning services.
WFP Country Representative, George Fedha during the handover said WFP is excited to have engaged in the process of acquiring the equipment as it enables Namibia to have a state-of-the-art early warning system.
Fedha said the early warning process will set up consolidation of five different systems, including the Namibia Seasonal Monitor, which will track agro-climatic conditions across the country to identify and map hazard hotspots. He added that the seasonal monitor system uses medium resolution satellite data and ground observations.
He further explained that one of the systems will be the Namibia hazard hotspot monitor, which is based on high-resolution data from the state-of-the-art European Statistics Agency.
“This is why we will have people in Rome helping to consolidate the systems to zoom in on hazard hotspots because sometimes hazard hotspots are not just in Namibia. They could be connected to what is going on around the region and how that filters into Namibia is very important to track,” Fedha said.
Another system included in the early warning process is the Namibia natural resource monitor that can be adopted routinely to monitor fixed areas of interest for quantification of burnt areas or estimation of biomass monitoring.
“The process also includes the Namibia crop monitor which provides high-resolution mapping and end-to-end season quantification of cultivated areas and different crops across agricultural areas of Namibia,” Fedha said.
On his part, Deputy Director in the Environment Ministry, Petrus Muteyauli reiterated that the ministry has been working closely with WFP in deciding mechanisms that are vital for Namibia’s adaptation to climate change.
“Early warning mechanisms are one of the most important aspects. We need to develop strong early warning systems that can equip our people, especially farmers, with timely information on what to expect when climatic disasters occur,” Muteyauli said, adding that there have been a number of studies carried out in collaboration with WFP, which culminated in the development of the funding concept of acquiring early warning equipment and capacity building on how people can effectively and efficiently utilise such equipment.