SWALIM Strengthens Climate and Weather Monitoring Network
For Somalia, weather and climate information is crucial to development and planning in all sectors of life. Since its establishment in 2002, SWALIM has worked closely with government line ministries, local and international NGO’s and other stakeholders to reinstate the Somali climate monitoring network, destroyed after the collapse of central government in the 1990’s. Weather monitoring is especially important, as many parts of the country are prone to flood and drought - disasters which require accurate forecasting and early response to minimize their negative impact.
In July and August 2016, SWALIM installed two new automatic weather stations and two manual synoptic weather stations in Baidoa and Mogadishu. The rehabilitated climate network now includes nine operational automatic weather stations (AWS), eight synoptic stations and 102 rainfall stations spread across the different climatic zones in the country. These stations monitor several weather elements, including rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure and solar radiation.
The role of maintaining the weather monitoring network rests ultimately with the relevant Somali ministries. In this regard, SWALIM has been collaborating with the ministries of agriculture in Puntland, Somaliland and the South and Central regional authorities to develop their capacity to run the weather service. A training course for all the field observers from the monitoring network in Southern parts of the country was organised and took place in August, 2016 to improve the quality and value of data collected. The rainfall observers included staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and SWALIM weather monitors from Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Middle Juba, Gedo and Bay regions. A total of 28 observers were trained. The knowledge transferred included data collection and recording, care and maintenance of weather instruments and managing the observation sites.