Guyanese are expected to receive more accurate and timely weather reports from the Hydro-meteorological Services Department of the Ministry of Agriculture as it has now been boosted with 21 Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs), according to a press release yesterday from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
The release came amid concerns that citizens have not been provided with any information on recent bouts of violent weather in various parts of the country which have cause damage and left residents traumatised. The release also came on the same day that Stabroek News reported that the Doppler Radar which is meant to deliver weather reports and warnings about severe weather was not working.
The release said that the weather stations, together with site preparation and installation costs totalling US$257,000 were donated under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Climate Change Adaptation Programme (CCAP) and was facilitated by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC).
In keeping with the investments planned under the programme, one such activity is the provision of the AWSs to enhance the existing network within Guyana and the wider region. Under a CCCCC commissioner study conducted by the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in early 2017, Guyana became the beneficiary of the weather stations. The total cost of the stations is US$215,000, with site preparation and installation costs totalling approximately US$42, 000, a total investment of US$257,000.
“They will serve to enhance the national and regional network of climatological observation and early warning stations that would provide optimal coverage to address the meteorological and hydrological needs within Guyana and the sub region. The prime objective is to contribute towards the provision of new climate information and institutional governance to help support the needs and requirements for the many critical sectors in Guyana such as agriculture, mangrove areas, water resources management and others”, the release said.
The press release made no mention of the $550m Doppler radar and the concerns that have been raised about it.
Maxine Nestor, Procurement Officer of the CCCCC, said these weather stations will see greater benefits for the country, particularly for fisher folk, farmers and other persons who are dependent on accurate weather data, the release said.