AYV News May 19, 2023
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has engaged a cross-section of the media and its strategic partners to popularise the Climate Information, Disaster Management and Early Warning System (CIDMEWS) platform.
The CIDMEWS is a web-based platform developed in 2017 to support communication and dialogue on Early Warning, Climate Information, and Forecasting Products.
Part of its functional operations is to monitor and understand meteorological and hydrological stations and provide humans with timely information necessary to avert any weather and climate-change-related disasters.
The CIDMEWS popularisation engagement is aimed at building the media and partners’ capacity in the knowledge management and use of the portal for climatic and disaster management.
Designed by the Integrated Geo-information and Environmental Management Services (INTEGEMS), the CIDMEWS tool is enhanced with a public-facing portal which can be accessed at cidmews-sl.solutions.
The platform also has a Geo-portal section designed specifically for the NDMA, the Sierra Leone Metrological Agency (SLMet), and other partner institutions.
Whilst referencing previous disasters that have claimed the lives of thousands and destroyed properties in Sierra Leone, the Deputy Director General of the NDMA, John Vandi Rogers disclosed in his opening statement that feasible and realistic Early Warning System Tools such as the CIDMEWS would have minimised the impact and effects of several disasters including the August 14, 2017 Landslide and Flooding.
He also commended the UNDP for their continuous trust in the NDMA and support of disaster prevention and response in the country.
NDMA’s Director of Communications, Mohamed L. Bah noted that the CIDMEWS platform provides a plethora of sophisticated tools and web-based services for the collecting, managing, visualising, mapping, analyzing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on various aspects of climatological, hydro-meteorological, disaster management, and early warning information in Sierra Leone.
He also pointed out that the tool is being managed collaboratively by the NDMA and SLMet.
In his presentation on the recently released Seasonal Outlook which gives technical details on weather conditions for private and public consumption, the Deputy Director General (DDG), who doubles as the Head of Operations of the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency Gabriel Kpaka explained that his Agency provides timely and periodic data which is technologically interpreted and transmitted into the CIDMEWS portal for the public to access forecast information for specific locations in Sierra Leone.
He also disclosed that the SLMet now have several sophisticated weather stations which contain sensors for measuring air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, and rain precipitation across the country.
The NDMA Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Abu Bakar Bangura gave an overview of NDMA’s activities and conducted a practical session on the use of the CIDMEWS portal for all participants.
This process ensured that the participants were able to visit the website, search for any district, and know the types of risk each district is exposed to in a timely manner.