CHIVI-Community-based weather forecasting is the best way to achieve accurate weather forecasting to predict farming seasons and reduce disasters caused by weather elements, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acting project manager Rungano Benza has said.
The tour was led by Agriculture Rural Development Advisory Services (ARDAS) chief director Professor Obert Jiri at Gwitima primary school in Ward 18 Chivi recently. UNDP installed an automated weather station.
UNDP partnered with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.
The weather station was installed as part of UNDP’s seven-year Green Climate Fund, which began in 2020 and aims to improve climate resilience in arid and semi-arid regions.
Professor Jiri applauded UNDP for installing the weather station. He said this improves the rainfall distribution monitoring as it records all weather conditions and makes predictions on the area covering 50 metres radius.
He said such weather stations must be installed in every ward to improve rainfall predictability and avoid falsified forecasts.
“Localised weather predictions will improve rainfall distribution monitoring. They must be installed in every ward to minimise blanket forecasting,” said Jiri.
Benza said the programme aims at improving access to weather, climate and hydrological information for climate-resilient agriculture to improve livelihoods in the southern parts of Zimbabwe.
He said localised forecasts will allow farmers to predict the rain, quality and when they will tail off.
He added that his organisation will work with Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to do river gauging for the benefit of irrigation farmers.
“We aim to improve access to weather information among farmers in the southern part of Zimbabwe to build climate resilience. Localised forecasting will allow farmers to know when the rain begins and predict the quality of the rains,” said Benza.
The solar-powered automated weather station at Gwitima has a Cup anemometer, Wind vane, rain gauge, and thermometers. It can measure the radiation to determine the intensity of sunlight.