Jul 16, 2009, 8:49 AM
The British High Commissioner to The Gambia last Wednesday presented a new digital recorder to the Gambian meteorological services (a unit under the Department of Water Resources).
The digital recorder was presented at a ceremony held at the Fisheries conference hall in Banjul.
The new digital recorder was funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to enable Gambia modernise the production of its TV weather bulletins.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, H.E. David Morley, the British High Commissioner to The Gambia, expressed appreciation with the various ministers for witnessing the important ceremony.
He thanked all those who were involved in the project for their efforts while assuring them that the UK government will continue to support the Government of The Gambia.
“The UK Met offices are currently undertaking a training needs assessment of forecasting personnel so that a training programme can be developed to improve the length, accuracy and relevance of weather forecasts in The Gambia,” he said.
He added that part of the training will focus on conveying weather information through television. “This project is part of a wider UNEP Programme to improve Gambia’s ability to issue warning of severe weather,” he said.
He said the UK Foreign and Commissioner Weather Office are working with the UK Met Office to upgrade TV Weather stations across Africa to help them improve their ability to issue warnings on severe weather warnings.
Speaking at the event, Jane Wardle from the UK Office said TV companies across the globe are now changing their broadcasting system from analogue to digital.
“This UK sponsored project will replace tape-based recordings with digital hardware. This makes the production of weather presentation much more efficient, which will be vital when severe weather warnings are issued,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, Hon. Abdou Kolley, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Government of The Gambia to the UK Government and Met Office for their timely assistance.
According to him, the digital recorder will boost the quality of the presentation of the country’s weather forecast.
He asserted that there are dedicated staff working at the Gambia Meteorological Office, yet having access to adequate equipment remains a major problem for them.
The ceremony was witnessed by the ministers of Forestry and the Environment, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture.
Also present was the deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, the deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the director of Water Resources and the permanent secretary, Ministry of Fisheries.