News 5.5.2022

Finnish Meteorological Institute improves weather, early warning and air quality service capacity in East-African countries

Well-functioning weather and early warning services are the most cost-efficient adaptation measures to the impacts of changing climate.
Photo: Pexels.

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has launched a four-year long Institutional Cooperation Instrument project funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. The project aims at decreasing the vulnerability of Kenyan, Rwandese and Tanzanian societies to changing climate, extreme weather events and air quality hazards. The project will improve weather, early warning and air quality services in the East-African region, at national level in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania as well as at community level.

The project will work with local sister organisations in Kenya (Kenya Meteorological Department, KMD), Rwanda (Rwanda Environment Management Authority, REMA; Rwanda Meteorology Agency, Meteo Rwanda), and Tanzania (Tanzania Meteorological Authority, TMA) and with national Red Cross societies.

Enhancing institutional capacity to better serve the local and community levels

The project will automate weather and early warning services by installing open-source/license fee free SmartMet forecasting tool developed by FMI in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. In addition to national developments in weather and early warning service provision, the countries will collaborate through daily virtual briefings for severe weather forecasting to reach agreement on the weather warnings to be shared on a map-based warning platform for the region.

The project enhances the dissemination of timely and accurate weather information to local and community levels through tailored and early warning services with selected stakeholders. Kenyan, Rwandan, Tanzanian and Finnish Red Cross Societies will collaborate with the project to truly outreach local communities. Especially stakeholders from the forestry and agriculture sectors in Tanzania will be engaged to better integrate with other development initiatives funded by the Finnish Government in such sectors.

Collaboration and knowledge transfer within the East African region

Project increases the capacity of sister institutions in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania to model and monitor weather and air quality. As an example, FMI-developed open-source SILAM air quality model will be benchmarked by the institutes and installed operationally in Rwanda. New observation sources for air quality monitoring will be demonstrated. The project introduces different open, satellite-borne datasets providing air quality related information for beneficiary institutions. Additionally, the beneficiaries will become skilled with tools and methodologies to process and visualise the satellite-data with different localised and processed satellite datasets for East Africa Region. In each country also a pilot in-situ sensor network will be installed.

The main working method of the project is person-to-person working and training the critical number of staff to ensure sustainable results after the project.

The project includes activities organised jointly with East African Community and World Meteorological Organisation aimed to facilitate the exchange of know-how in numerical weather modelling among the countries of the East Africa and to promote collaboration in severe weather forecasting and dissemination in East-Africa.

More information:

FMI's International Expert Services

International projectsCapacity buildingWeather services