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UNDP climate change meet ends

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Government of Sierra Leone on Wednesday held a Validation Workshop to strengthen climate monitoring capabilities so that communities in Sierra Leone can adapt to climate change.
The Validation Workshop which was held at the Shangrila Resort in Freetown, brought together government agencies, technocrats and other institutions involved in disaster management to deliberate and provide essential contributions to the climate change adaptation project.
In her speech, the UNDP Representative, Mariatu Swaray encouraged agencies involved in disaster management to come onboard for the provision of effective early warning signs.
She acknowledged that the absence of an effective early warning system which the present Meteorological Office and other agencies cannot provide, is responsible for people not fleeing or putting measures in place for any pending disaster.
Swaray urged the Meteorological Department and other agencies to be fully operational nationwide,stating that UNDP is concerned about the impacts of climate change and its hindrance to efforts made by the country towards economic independence and social security.
She assured stakeholders of UNDP’s continued and concrete support in building resilient nations and empowering people through the provision of early warnings.
In his presentation, the International Consultant for the project, Timoteo Ferreira informed participants that the Project Proposal was approved by GEF in May, 2012.
Ferreira noted that the enhancement of capacity for National Hydro-Meteorological institutions to monitor extreme weather and produce sector-tailored forecasting is one of the major components of the project.
He told participants that there is need for least developed countries to rehabilitate and reconstruct meteorological/climate monitoring stations throughout their countries, so that they could meet the immediate demand of donors.
He reminded participants that all of the activities concerning the project have been completed, and that their immediate task was to validate the project, if the design meets the required goal.
He added that the project proposal needs a final approval of the grant for Sierra Leone, so that national activities can commence to strengthen climate information and early warning systems in the country.
The representative from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Augustine Fatorma assured participants of the Ministry’s support in actualising the project.
He told participants that the Agenda for Prosperity will ensure that communities have the requisite adaptive capacities to resist climate change.
He emphasised the need to empower the Meteorological Department to efficiently undertake its activities.
By Keifa M. Jaward

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