Wednesday, November 30

Second ECOWAS Hydromet Forum underway in Banjul

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The three day meeting which began on Tuesday is organised by the ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with the Department of Water Resources of the Gambia, CILLS, WMO, World Bank, African Development Bank and a host of others.

The Banjul meeting according to the organisers is to consolidate the achievements of the first ECOWAS Hydromet Forum held in Abidjan.

The three days synergy is organised mainly to emphasise regional leadership to strengthen weather, water and climate services in their global, public good function for climate risk management, climate adaptation and disaster risk management, among other objectives.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs Dr. Siga Fatimah Jagne, said West Africa has had its own share in the current global trends of both natural and human induced disasters over the past decades.

She raised concerns on disasters emanating from hydrological and climatological hazards namely: floods, coastal erosion and droughts.

“During the last three decades, over 75% of West Africa’s population lives in areas affected at least once in every two years by flood, storm and drought,” she said.

World Meteorological Organisation Director Dr. Amos Makarau, praised ECOWAS for being the first economic community to establish a hydromet forum of that nature emphasising the need to tackle climate change.

World Bank Director Simon Ehui, expressed his delight at his institution working with the ECOWAS Commission.

He said more Africans are proud to support the region in the efforts to scale up the fight against climate change.

Ghana’s Minister of Communication Mrs. Usurla Gifty Owusu-Ekuful, said improving hydrological and meteorological and climate hydromet services is critical to strengthen cross cutting climate disaster resilient services across sub-Saharan Africa.

Meanwhile, the Gambia Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, James F. Gomez, said Gambia being a member of CILLS, reaffirms its commitment to tackling climate and the dangers it poses.