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Sierra Leone News: Meteorological department transforms to Agency

Transport Minster Leonard B  Koroma presenting the Bill in Parliament

Transport Minster Leonard B
Koroma presenting the Bill in Parliament

The Meteorological Department is 80-years old. Members of Parliament, yesterday, Thursday 20 July 2017, after heated debate, unanimously enacted into law the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency Act 2017.
Presenting the Bill before Members of Parliament for debate and possible ratification, the Minister of Transport, Leonard B. Koroma, disclosed that the Sierra Leone Meteorological Department was established during the Colonial era with the functions of tracking weather patterns, representing the country at the Permanent World Meteorological Organization and also informing the public about weather conditions in the country.
He disclosed that the Department has been known as a dilapidated building that does not depict the status and role of the organization taking into consideration that issues relating to meteorological, weather patterns and climate issues are taking center stage world wide.
The Minister maintained that Sierra Leone is a party to the Paris Agreement on Climate, which shows the country’s commitment on the said issues, explaining that the effect of issues relating to meteorology have been seen affecting the lives of the ordinary people in the country.
“Because of the fact that Sierra Leone is the only country in the entire West Africa region if not the whole Africa Region that still has a Meteorological Department instead of an Agency which is the International best practice, we are losing out financial and technical benefit,” he recalled.
He explained that the country is even losing in terms of cash for emission control because Sierra Leone is yet to enact the necessary Legislation, disclosing that the United Nations is willing and ready to fund the Agency if it transforms and even possible fund the construction of the Sierra Leone Meteorological house.
Making his contribution in the debate Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, disclosed that meteorology is very important because it’s a combination of many aspects that has to do with the element of that constitute the globe.
He maintained that for the country to be seen as modernized the Meteorological Department must be upgraded into an Agency, explaining that the issues of climate change and weather affects all aspects of life as the farmers need information about wind and water to do their work effectively.
Hon. Kargbo explained that information gathered at the Meteorological Agency should be broadcast on the radio and television for the people to know about the movement of water and wind and the precipitation of the country.
According to the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Bernadette Lahai, the country must move with the current trends by modernizing the Department to Agency that will provide accurate and timely information to the people about weather and climate change.
She explained that its evidently clear that in advance countries three months before the occurrence of a phenomena that hinges on some climatic disorder already through satellite and other mechanisms data is put out to forewarn the coming event.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Fariday July 21, 2017.

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