United Nations Development Program donates to Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency(SLMet)
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has on Thursday, 8th July, 2021 donated equipment worth thousands of Dollars to the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency(SLMET) at their Conference Room, Fourah Bay Close, Off Main Motor Road in Freetown. These include *HP Elite Desktop Accessories, VHF Radios (Aqua Quake), VHF IC-M17 Radios, Remote sensing image processing software packages & equipment to assist climate and oceanographic monitoring, Mirror Stereoscope Complete Kit and HP SD Pro Scanner.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the UNDP Sierra Leone Deputy Resident Representative, Madam Rokya Ye-Dieng said that the equipment were procured through the Global Environment Funds (GEF) funded project Adapting to Climate Change induced coastal risks management in Sierra Leone", a project pitched towards enhancing the availability of high quality climatic information data for critical decision-making and supporting adaptation across coastal communities in Sierra Leone.

Madam Ye-Dieng further disclosed that the high performance computers presented to the agency is to be utilized in supporting exchange & archiving of data for the enhancement of a practical system of coastal climate and sea level rise monitoring systems to support innovative satellite transmission network and hydrodynamic modelling and forecasting facilities which will serve as a basis for ehnacing the availability of high quality climate risk information which is critical for decision making within the coastal zones.

"In respect of the VHF Radios, they are expected to be used by SLMET to report on incidences which may come up in the marine environment, whilst the Crank radios are meant to be used in sending early warning messages from the Agency to project locations,” she said.

While making her concluding statements, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative assured the agency that the equipment were of high quality performance and will help provide the requisite backing that will increase the Agency’s capacity to adequately monitor, measure and assess the impact of specific climate change parameters on coastal dynamics.

Speaking on behalf of the Agency, the *Deputy Director-General and Head of Operations at SLMET, Gabriel Kpaka expressed gratitude for the support, adding that for over decades, the UNDP has worked tirelessly to improving the human and technical capacity of the Agency.

Decade-plus years ago, when I joined the Agency, SLMET only had two weather stations and the services provided then, were only limited to the aviation sector, but with the advent of laudable support from the UNDP through the early warning project, and other partners, the country now has diverse weather stations”, Mr. Kpaka says.
He furthered that Sierra Leone is among other countries in West Africa including *Senegal* that now have marine weather stations that provides up to date marine data and weather information across the country. He revealed that a mobile application (SLMET App) that can be accessed via Google play store was developed in 2017 with the help of UNDP that’s helping in this regard.

SLMET DDG informed the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and all present including staff of the Environmental Agency (EPA) that the Agency’s services are up and running and have gained trust, acceptability and increased usage across Sierra Leone.

I want to assure you all that going forward, and considering the magnitude of support from the UNDP, we will use the equipment and all other supports to reach out to coastal communities in a bid to tackling the issues emanating from coastal zones.

He ended by stating that the Agency had earlier with assistance from the UNDP supported coastal communities in Lakka, Bonthe, Conakry Dee, Shenge, Turtle Isalnd and Hamilton with mobile phones; having downloaded SLMET mobile applications, but challenges still remain due to the illiteracy rate in these communities, but with the radio sets provided, it will facilitate voice messaging and help bring coastal community dwellers along in attaining climate resilience.

The meeting was chaired by the UNDP Team Lead for sustainability and local economy cluster, Maadam Tanzila Watta Sankoh.

SLMET Head of Climatology – Patrick Musa and Public Relations and Outreach Officer- Success Sei Kamara accompanied Mr. Kpaka at the handing over ceremony.