By Sodiq Lawal
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has solicited support from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) in the execution of a multinational project that covers Nigeria.
This piece of information was given by the Senior Researcher at IWMI, Dr. Sander Zwart, when he and his team visited the NiMet Headquarters. Dr. Zwart said they are to embark on a huge project called CLiM O.
“We have this project coming up, it is called the CLiM O. It is led by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). The goal is to assist member states of the Niger Basin Authority to be more climate-resilient and of course, Nigeria is part of the Niger Basin”, he said.
Dr. Zwart stated further that based on the information they have obtained, it was discovered that flood and drought were major challenges that require urgent attention, especially after last year’s flood and that his team would develop activities that seek to make the people become better prepared for flood now and in the future.
To achieve this, he revealed that there are four components they have proposed for the project and that as their institution would be driving the project, they are keen to have NiMet’s input. He listed these components to be hydrological modelling, flood forecasting, data sharing and underground actions that involves how people can adapt themselves to flood.
The Director, Weather Forecasting Services, Engr. Mailadi Yusuf , who represented the Director-General, assured the visitors of NiMet’s support, adding that NiMet was in close collaboration with federal and state ministries of water resources where the lead sister agency that develops the Annual Flood
Outlook (NiHSA) for the country, is resident. He disclosed that apart from predicting water availability for farming activities at the onset of rain, duration and amount expected, NiMet would soon engage water users across the country on dry season (irrigation) farming activities by delivering and training them on the use of the Seasonal Climate Prediction for optimal harvest outputs.
The CLIM O project, when fully implemented, would support member states of the Niger Basin Authority in strengthening transboundary governance of water resources, adaptation, and mitigation of the impact of climate change. The @IWMI_ will lead the design and implementation of the project in the Benue River Basin.
Meanwhile, after the public presentation of the agency’s flagship product, the Seasonal Climate Prediction by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has begun downscaling of the document by training farmers in the Checheyi village, Kwali Area Council, Abuja on Climate-Smart Agriculture.
The event, which was held in the Checheyi village, is aimed at sensitising Nigerian farmers on latest agricultural practices and processes, which would in turn, improve their yields, make their crops weather and climate resistant, adopt best crop scheduling approach, and by extension, employ all the tools of climate-smart agricultural practice.
The programme was attended by the head of the village, the Agricultural Development Project of the Federal Capital Territory administration and resource persons from the academia as well as technical experts from NiMet, amongst others.