General News of Thursday, 2 June 2016
The long rains that fall during the rainy season may not come this year, particularly in the coastal areas of the country.
This is because the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has forecast that the rainfall pattern will experience long dry spells during the rainy season.
In an interview during a workshop for meteorologists in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of GMet, Captain Stephen Komla, explained that there would be less normal rainfall, compared to previous years, in the southern parts of the country.
The one-week training programme is being organised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to train staff of the agency on the WMO Strategy for Service Delivery, a document that is intended to help members of the organisation to deliver quality service.
The training is also to afford the GMet the opportunity to interact with stakeholders who have been benefiting from its services.
Effects of the rains
The middle belt, Captain Komla said, was also expected to experience an average rainfall pattern, while the northern belt would experience normal rainfall.
“If we are lucky, the rains in the northern part will have some positive effect on the Akosombo Dam since the dam takes its source of water from the northern part,” he added.
Consequently, he said, food production this year, compared with that of last year, was likely to be bad as a result of the lack of rains.
Earlier in a similar interview, the Head of Research at the GMet, Mr Charles Kweku Yorke, explained that the development would have implications for agriculture and energy generation.
He, therefore, urged farmers to liaise with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to offset any expected challenges that might occur during the rainy season.
“We appeal to farmers to contact the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for advice,” he said.
‘Support the agency’
Speaking at the workshop, Captain Komla appealed to the government to support the agency with the necessary capital investment to enhance its efficiency, adding that the agency had not received any logistical support from the government since 2008.
According to him, the agency had to rely mostly on foreign partners for assistance to acquire most of its equipment.
“We are supposed to have a periodical training to be abreast of current trends and also use modern technology, but due to inadequate funds, we jump on any intervention by a foreign partner,” he said.
Nonetheless, he said, the agency had made some efforts to improve its activities.
For instance, it had built 120 automatic weather stations in different parts of the country.
Considering the prevalent climate change, population increase, among other factors, Captain Komla said, the government needed to resource the agency to function more efficiently.
He thanked the WMO for organising the workshop, saying, “It will help the agency interact with its clients so that we can improve our services and also satisfy our clients.”
The Chief of Public Weather at the WMO, Ms Haleh Kootval, in her address, said as part of the organisation’s objective, it was encouraging its members to pay attention to quality service delivery, hence the training.