PMD-WFP Joint Project

Strengthening of Early Warning System in Pakistan



Over 150 hazards have hit Pakistan over the last 65 years and caused significant damages. The major disasters were primarily caused by floodS, earthquake, cyclone and drought. There is progress in forecasting cyclones and floods while mitigation activities are underway to avert devastation through earthquakeS. Drought analysis and monitoring is being made on regular basis since 2002 and fortnightly advisories are available for short term interventions in farm sector. There has been significant international attention to this topic over the past decade. A detailed synthesis of the good practices being implemented across the globe has revealed that the benefits of scientific knowledge cannot be fully gained without the effective participation and strong networking of media.

Climate watch & outlook information and related services from the National Meteorological Service (NMS) are increasingly being demanded by the farming community to cope more efficiently with climate variability and the increasing incidence of extreme hydro-meteorological events such as droughts, floods, frosts and wind erosion. Considerable advances have been made in the collection, archiving and analysis of weather and climate data and their transformation into information that can be readily used by the farm sector. Thus, there is a need to establish a system under the umbrella of PMD to spread climate watch and advisories to end users/farmers at grass root level because dissemination of useful information to end users still lag behind, especially in rural areas of Pakistan where such information needs are the greatest. One of the important reasons is the lack of adequate and appropriate dissemination and communication procedures that can enhance the value of the agro meteorological information and climate watch services.

Disseminating information and educational materials is a key element of response to natural disasters. Electronic media greatly expedite the process of dissemination and enable prevention messages to reach an expanded audience. This project will cover these aspects and develop partnership with media personnel, radio channels and end users. So, this project will be setting a model by engaging local electronic and print media for dissemination of translated climatic outlooks to rural communities of Pakistan.

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With mutual Agreement Pakistan Meteorological Department & WFP have agreed to organize awareness workshops for journalists from print and electronic media for awareness raising and network development for future early weather updates disseminations in different parts of the country. Automatic weather stations (AWS) for Tharparkar district and DI Khan district will be installed to enhance drought monitoring. Under this initiative, GPRS communication system will be developed for near real-time reception of meteorological data being acquired at various parts of the country through AWS.

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