A hydro-meteorological station to collect and disseminate data and information on hydro-weather climatic conditions in communities along the Volta Basin has been installed at Bongo-Kunkua community in the Bongo District, Upper East Region.
The automated weather station would provide relevant information to detect early signs regarding meteorological variables including precipitation, temperature, wind direction among others and enable communities to prepare to avert disasters such as floods and droughts.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and the Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA) with funding from the Adaptation Fund, installed the station.
It was under the “Integrating Flood and Drought Management and Early Warning for Climate Change Adaptation in the Volta Basin (VFDM) project” which begun in June 2019 and will be completed in mid-2023 and locally implemented by Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS-Ghana).
The project integrated the implementation of Local Initiatives for Community Flood and Drought Management in six selected pilot communities (one per country) of the Volta Basin, focusing among other things on strengthening their capacities to cope with hydro-meteorological events, the development of early warning dissemination channels and the improvement of end-user response.
Mr Ramesh Tripathi, the VFDM Project Manager, WMO, explained that due to climate change, Ghana had experienced lots of floods and drought in the past decade and the station was to help the Ghana Meteorological Agency to gather accurate data on severe weather and develop early systems for the communities, to prevent disaster.
He said apart from the station being able to provide information that would help in emergency preparedness to save lives, it would also contribute to enhancing economic and agricultural activities of communities thereby contributing to reducing poverty and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Data gathered from the station, he added, could be mainstreamed into national policies and programmes to ensure that the infrastructure and development projects needed to help communities cope with changing weather and disaster risk reduction projects were implemented.
“For instance, this station is covering a distance of about 10 square kilometres and due to the limited number of hydrological and meteorological stations in Ghana, when these kinds of stations are installed in various zones, it will help to collect data to be able to predict accurately in terms of disaster and what is coming,” he added.
Mr Julius Awaregya, the Executive Director, ORGIIS, noted apart from an information centre attached to the hydro-weather station to disseminate information to members of the community, a flood and drought management committee had also been set up to support the community during emergencies.
Mr Jesse Kazapoe, the Principal Basin Officer, White Volta Basin Secretariat, Water Resources Commission, noted that data gathered from the project would influence policy direction and enable them to advise people on flood and drought management
Mr Briamah Abu, the Upper East Regional Director, Ghana, Meteorological Agency, said the region had only six stations with obsolete equipment which did not give accurate information and expressed hope that the new station would contribute to attaining and distributing accurate weather information.
Mr Solomon Anabia Asampana, Assemblyman, Kunkua-Daliga Electoral Area, expressed optimism that the station would provide community members information that would help them avert severe drought and flood.