When Do You Value Weather?
It saddens my heart when rain disasters occur and Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) takes the blame for not being up and doing in their duties. What attention and concern have we as a country, paid to the state and affair of GMet? Have we tried to find out about the reason for their inability as an institution? I guess not, solely because we do not appreciate the role their research on weather plays in our daily lives?
If I may ask, do we realize the existence of GMet only when we need someone to blame after a rain disaster? If yes, then we have to wake up as a country. If you think you, as a citizen, have no consent about this issue, then you have really missed it. Today it is not in your vicinity nor your family member nor yourself, but who knows what tomorrow holds? Probably, that is a lesson the Parliament of Ghana just learnt. All other years the disasters were at other places and probably none of them ever lost a property or a relative. I believe that their recent incident, will give them enough reason to document policies and measures to assist GMet in their activities.
I do not intend to say GMet can put a stop to a natural phenomenon, but if through their activities, they are able to foresee or predict the occurrences of these unfortunate events, the country can put measures in place to at least lessen the impact it will have on us. GMet would love to see its forecast well disseminated to every citizen irrespective of their location. The joy of making accurate predictions is enough to motivate the great minds at the institution in their endeavors. Let’s ask ourselves, is it their inability or they do not have the means to achieve their aim?
GMet has been crying out for assistance in the acquisition of good and sophisticated equipment to work with, and funds to finance their research department but do we give them the needed attention? As a country, our Meteorological Agency (weather stations and maintenance) is nothing to write home about let alone obtaining data from weather stations to work with. The few rain gauges that were installed have been stolen just because it is made of copper which can fetch some coins without thinking about the welfare of the nation. Yet these same people complain about inaccurate weather predictions. Look around you, how many properly maintained and functioning weather stations can you count? Thermometers and other instruments break down and are not replaced due to lack of funds. The forecasters try hard to work with the limited resources and information in order to come out with a forecast and yet we don’t even appreciate their effort.
Yes, there are internal challenges which happen in every organization or institution. This is a government sector and not a private sector. The government has stand up to these challenges and help equip the Agency to its standard for a better service. The conditions and well-being of the staff must be improved. Weather is a heartbeat of the developed countries. They never subtract it from the development equation. Their developmental plans revolve around the weather.
The security services, parliamentarians, doctors, nurses, teachers etc. cannot effectively work if they are not well equipped to discharge their duties, so is GMet. It is time for us to wake up as a country to value the contributions of GMet on weather researches so as to minimize the lives and properties destroyed in any unfortunate events of weather.
Long Live GMet, Long live Mother Ghana.
By: Maureen Akpene Ahiataku