#National News

FAO, DWR brief partners ahead of 2023 climate forecast rainy season

May 26, 2023, 11:28 AM | Article By: Fatou Dem

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the Department of Water Resources recently held a day-long synergy on the 2023 seasonal forecast.

The objective of synergy was to disseminate the 2023 seasonal forecast for The Gambia which is in favour of normal to slightly above normal rainfall during the (July-August-September) period. Shorter to average dry spell durations are also expected at the beginning and towards the end of the season.
Dr. Mustapha Ceesay, FAO Assistant Country Representative, said as rainfall patterns are becoming increasingly uncertain and unpredictable, the need to strengthen climate services and early warning systems in The Gambia for climate-resilient development and adaptation to climate change becomes even more obvious.
He continued that climate change is a global challenge that requires comprehensive and cross-sectoral actions to be taken in full consideration of international goals, regional strategies, and national action plans.
“FAO will continue to support the customisation of weather and climate information services for the agriculture sector and to improve weather and climate forecast information dissemination at the national and regional level,” Dr. Ceesay affirmed.
Lamin Mai Touray, director of the Department of Water Resources at the Ministry of Fisheries, said Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) is one of their flagship products.

He added that it is an invaluable early warning tool that has provided stakeholders with relevant climate smart knowledge and information that will help reduce the risk of weather and climate change impacts in various weather-sensitive sectors of the economy and maximise the opportunities provided by the information contained in the product.
He continued that, SRP will help increase and improve the level of preparedness by the National Disaster Management Agency and serve as an advisory tool for many stakeholders at the national and regional levels.
According to a press release from the Department of Water Resources under the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, the climate forecast for the 2023 rainy season is predicted to be very likely to be normal to likely to be above normal in the country.
Most places in the country are however predicted to experience above-normal annual rainfall with the highest amount above 900mm (millimeter) in the western sector of the country and amount in the range of 700-850mm as are likely over the rest of the country, the release stated.