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Meteorological Agency operating without radars


The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) has been operating without weather surveillance radars, which help in the improvement of surveillance of the weather.

In the absence of these raiders, the Agency is using local observations to read the weather for the benefit of the aviation industry, farmers, fishermen and other clients.

Mr Michael M. Tanu, Director-General of GMA disclosed this at a press briefing to mark this year's World Meteorological Day in Accra.

The day, under the theme: “Weather, Climate and the Air we Breathe”, comes at a time when communities around the world are struggling to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in health, food, water, security and poverty alleviation as well as increase their effectiveness in mitigating natural disasters of which 90 per cent are related to weather, climate and water hazards.

The day in Ghana is being marked by a clean-up exercise at the Agency's premises because its new Board of Directors had not been formed.

Mr Tanu said the Agency, which was established in 2004 had two radars - one stationed at Tamale to serve the northern sector and other in Accra to serve the southern sector could not be managed because of software challenges.

He said the radars when available, could be used to pick thunderstorms on the Volta Lake, for instance, to avoid the disasters being experienced on the Lake.

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, he said, utilised 60 per cent of the Agency's services and it was collaborating with its counterpart in the United States for the provision of two radars to enhance their weather reading activities.

Mr Tanu noted that population growth, increased energy usage and industrial development had contributed to the emission of gases and particles that could and did affect human health causing asthma, heart disease, lung cancer and many other medical conditions.

These, he said, had caused a decline in air quality with air pollution affecting the global economy, food and water security and sustainable development by damaging plants, crops and the ecosystem.

“Meteorologists, climatologists and atmospheric chemists are currently contributing to the mitigation of the impacts of weather, climate and quality of the air we breathe by working together to provide medical professionals and environmental scientists with predictions and analysis of the atmospheric distribution, concentration and transport of gases and particles in the atmosphere,” he said.

Mr Tanu attributed the change in weather to the carbon dioxide emanating from over-aged vehicles and the depletion of the nation's green forest and advised Ghanaians to plant more trees and keep the environment clean.

He complained of the Agency being financially constrained and was optimistic that under the new government and in collaboration with Ministry of Communications would acquire the necessary equipment to boost their services.