Launch of Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System in Africa

WMO has launched the African implementation of the Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) in collaboration with the United Kingdom Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. The implementation is being kick-started in two regions the Lake Victoria Basin and in West Africa. These HydroSOS activities are being organized within larger projects such as Climate Resilient Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Togo, CREWS East Africa, and an Adaptation Fund project for Lake Chad Basin.


HydroSOS workshop participants with the Minister of Works and Housing Ghana Francis Asenso-Boakye

The HydroSOS framework will provide vital actionable water resources information to stakeholders across multiple sectors as well as build institutional capabilities to produce hydrological status and outlooks information.  These resources will be codesigned with various local stakeholders to effectively address their water-related information needs.

There were two launch events in West Africa, during technical workshops organized 5–6 and 11–12 October by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of Ghana and Nigeria respectively. The Lake Victoria Basin implementation was launched in a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, on 22–24 November. The workshops attracted a wide array of national stakeholders, including high-level Ministerial representation. The events introduced HydroSOS and discussed its local implementation.

Ghana’s Minister of Works and Housing Francis Asenso-Boakye observed in his opening remarks that the greatest risks to humanity today are linked to the global extreme hydrometeorological conditions, including floods and droughts, which could lead to potential disputes over water usage. The Minister pledged continued support to the Hydrological Services Department, the Ghana Meteorological Agency and the Water Resources Commission.

In Nigeria, Minister of Aviation Sen Hadi Sirika, represented by the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed opened the workshop. The Minister stated that HydroSOS will support Nigeria to make local-scale data with improved accuracy available to modelling platforms and to scale up the dialogue between stakeholders regarding water resources information and its impact on socioeconomic development. The Minister commended WMO for the initiative.

WMO encouraged governments and development partners to invest more in observations, early warnings, adaptation and resilience and to increase the effectiveness and collaboration between the hydrological, meteorological and disaster management communities.


Group discussions during the HydroSOS Workshop in Ghana

Various presentations laid the ground for rapid progress in the HydroSOS implementation and linked HydroSOS to the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for the Early Warnings for All. The Director General of the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), Dr Kamga Andre, highlighted the need for improved hydrological monitoring systems and enhanced capacities at local and regional levels in order to provide crucial status and forecasting services.

Expert collaboration among the water-dependent sectors at the HydroSOS stakeholder consultation for Lake Victoria Basin made progress in discussing the needs for hydrological status and outlook information and agreed on the next steps for implementation.

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