Press release archive: 2010

The Finnish Meteorological Institute helps Nepal to prepare for dangerous weather events

4.10.2010 12:00

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has launched a cooperation project with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal. The goal is to modernise the production of weather services in Nepal, thereby reducing damage resulting from natural disasters.

Photo: Antonin Halas

Photo: Antonin Halas

Weather conditions in Nepal are challenging, because there may be both drought and flooding caused by torrential rains simultaneously in various parts of the country. Some 20–30 people are killed by thunderstorms every year. However, the greatest damage is caused by floods and landslides. Floods also have other health effects since it is difficult to secure the supply of clean water during flooding. Epidemics caused by the lack of clean water annually result in an average of 400 deaths.

The goal of the project is to enhance knowledge among the Nepalese authorities and to improve preparation for weather-related natural disasters, which will be more common in the future because of climate change. Good weather and climate services enable more effective management of the adverse effects of climate change and extreme weather events on the economy and human health. During the project, a development plan will be drawn up together with Nepalese cooperation partners, the aim being to improve hydrological and meteorological services in Nepal.

Financing through the ICI for development cooperation

The project, which started in February 2010, will last for about two and a half years and is financed through ICI funds from the Unit for Asia and Oceania of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The ICI (Institutional Cooperation Instrument) is a financing instrument for inter-institutional development cooperation that promotes cooperation between government institutions and agencies. The objective is to strengthen the skills and know-how of government actors, such as ministries, institutions and universities, in developing countries.

Director General Nirmal Rajbhandari and other representatives of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal visited the Finnish Meteorological Institute at the end of September. The purpose of the visit was to show the Nepalese guests how a modern meteorological institute operates and what services it provides for society. During their week-long visit, the guests learned about, for instance, the Weather and Safety Centre, Weather Service and Aviation Weather. In addition to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the group visited the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, MTT Agrifood Research Finland in Jokioinen, and Vaisala Corporation.

Additional information:
Finnish Meteorological Institute: Nepal Project Manager Irma Ylikangas, tel. +358 40 749 7132,
Ministry for Foreign Affairs: Programme Officer Katja Hirvonen, tel. +358 9 1605 6405 or
+358 40 480 3981