The WASCAL Competence Centre has donated three automatic hydro sensors to the government of the Gambia to help facilitate data collection and sharing and utilization for research, education, capacity building and the provision of hydrological services for the country.
In his address, Honourable James Gomez, the Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, on behalf of the President of the Gambia, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to BMBF and WASCAL for the donation of the equipment.
“With this donation, the Ministry of Water Resources will be able to increase the accuracy of forecast and he reiterates that information and data observations from the sensors will make Gambian Safer and better informed. We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), through WASCAL for this unprecedented gesture.” He said.
Also speaking at the event, Honorable Lamin Dibba, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources raised concerns about the vulnerability of developing countries to the effects of climate change and expressed gratitude for the timely donation.
“It is no longer a secret in the world and specially to the scientific community that climate change is an emergency for least developed countries who are highly vulnerable. Despite this emergency, the contributions of our countries don’t match in term of accurate data. This donation has come in timely to fill in the gap and to help change the narrative”. He indicated.
Madam Faye, representative of WASCAL Board Members in the Gambia added that “the donation of the automatic hydrological sensors will facilitate data collection, data quality assurance and sharing and utilization for research, education, capacity building and the provision of hydrological services for the country”.
Speaking on behalf of WASCAL, Prof. Kehinde Ogunjobi, Director of Research of the Competence Centre, was empathic on WASCAL’s commitment to working with its stakeholders in developing climate services to reduce the negative impacts of climate change in the west African region.
“Climate change has no boundary, there is, therefore, a need to come together as nations and as a region to see what can be done to reduce the effect of climate change in our environment. The donated automatic hydrological sensors by BMBF will generate data for our models, to forecast and predict rainfall variability, temperature to have results in our research output which will helps scientists to redesign policies and programme to help reduce the effect of climate change on the livelihood of our society.”
The ceremony brought together the Ministers from the Fisheries and Water Resources, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, as well as the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Higher Education and Research. Also in attendance were the Director of the Department of Water Resources, WASCAL’s board member for Gambia, and the Director of the WASCAL Graduate Studies Programme in the Gambia. As part of the ceremony, the WASCAL team’s paid courtesy calls to key sites such as the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), the Medical Research Council (MRC) of The Gambia, and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources.
The automatic hydrological sensors are funded by BMBF for the benefit of WASCAL member states with the view to reducing data gaps and improving climate change mitigation for livelihood in the region.