Authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport (MoT), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), and its international partners on August 27-30, 2018, conducted a three-day awareness workshop on climate change aimed at creating public consciousness on the Early Warning System (EWS).
The awareness workshop, which was held with national stakeholders, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the media on the benefits and sustainability of EWS, began in Tubmanburg, Bomi Country, under the theme, “Taking Climate Information to the End-Users.”
The event brought together over 60 participants representing various stakeholders from Montserrado, River Cess, Bomi,Grand Bassa and Margibi counties respectively.
The training was intended to educate local people on how to use the “WeatherBug” mobile app to forecast the weather condition within 10 or more days.
According to EPA, there are 11 weather stations in 10 counties that collect information from the 15 sub-political division of the country.
In a presentation, Jeremiah G. Sonkan, NCSS National Coordinator, said the term “Early warning” as used in many fields, is to describe the provision of information on an emerging dangerous hazard that enables advance action to reduce the associated risks.
Sonkan said EWS exists for natural geophysical and biological hazards, complex socio-political emergencies, industrial hazards and personal health risks.
He said EWS can be set up to avoid or reduce the impact of hazards such as floods, landslides, storms and forest fires.
Sonkan indicated that early action can also prevent a hazard turning into a human disaster by preventing loss of life, and reducing the economic and material impact.
He described climate change as a threat to human development, and has economic implications for poor countries, leaving them more vulnerable.
“It is safe to say that our livelihood activities are climate sensitive, and therefore, in need of EWS as a first step to adaptation,” Mr. Sonkan said.
A participant, Ruth Varney, said the training has helped her understand the importance of taking preventive measures to stop the embarrassment that is associated with climate change.
Madam Varney said the issue of climate change is everybody’s business. As such, it needs both national, and local attention by creating constant awareness.
She said human activities have impacted the world so much that it is creating hardship on the environment.
Madam Varney said with the EWS training, the participants are able to forecast the weather and prepare themselves for rain and sun.