By Samuel Ouma
Kenya’s Principal Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr. Chris Kiptoo on Monday, February 28, 2022, participated in the launch of the FINKERAT Project aimed at strengthening and improving weather forecasting and early warning systems in the country.
The project was unveiled at the sidelines of the on going UNEA 5.2 in partnership with the Government of Finland through the Finland Meteorological Institute and the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD).
Speaking during the launch PS Dr. Kiptoo said the project will strengthen meteorological services in the country to provide strategic interventions in weather and climate related services.
The PS said the objective of the project is to capacity build KMD to improve on critical deficiencies in the infrastructure and scientific aspects that limit the department’s ability to provide climate services during extreme weather events and contribute effectively to disaster risk reduction.
He said critical priority capacity development needs for KMD include continuous upgrading of meteorological facilities and equipment; enhancement of the spatial network for systematic weather, climate, and air pollution monitoring and dissemination; development of skills for handling emerging technologies for dissemination of weather and climate information, among others.
Finland 🇫🇮 Vice Minister of Environment and Climate Change Terhi Lehtonen, said the collaboration will help KMD to scaling up weather focus systems and provide capacity building from the Finland Meteorological Institute to help deal with vagaries of climate change
Among other areas, the project will help improve weather and air quality monitoring, adapt to climate change and mitigate impacts by strengthening capacities.
Present also during the launch were Finland 🇫🇮 Ambassador to Kenya Pirkka Tapiola, Embassy of Finland 🇫🇮 Head International Projects Matt Eerikainen, Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau, KMD Director Ms Stella Aura among other