Building a climate-resilient Gabon one meteorological station at a time

29 juin 2022

The meteorological station in Nyonie- Gabon’s Director of Meteorology on the left Photo: UNDP

Gabon’s 885 kilometers of coastline and its corresponding regions are essential to the country’s economy as they host the majority of its development sectors: agriculture, industry, fisheries, and tourism. Yet, they are increasingly vulnerable to climate change due to their exposure to natural hazards such as coastal erosion, landslides, and floods.

To counter the effects of climate change UNDP, in partnership with the National Climate Council and the Directorate of Meteorology and with support from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund installed six meteorological stations along the coast in the following regions: Mayumba, Gamba, Kango, CocoBeach, Ntchongorove, and Nyonie. These stations will provide proper climate information to forecast and communicate immediate- and long-term risks to the local population.

The meteorological station in Nyonie- Gabon’s Director of Meteorology Photo: UNDP The meteorological station in Cocobeach Photo: UNDP

I am very happy (about the stations) because we have not had a weather forecast for a long time. Now when we go to the water, we will know if it will be rainy or cloudy and make the decision to go fishing or not." Mr. Obiang, a local fisherman in Cocobeach.

Local fishermen in a boat in Cocobeach Photo: UNDP Gabon

The automatic stations will help collect the data used by the directorate of meteorology to send out regular weather forecasts by SMS to more citizens. Prior to this project, Gabon's meteorological network had 14 weather stations inherited from the colonial era, 9 of which were considered obsolete or ineffective because of poor calibration but no longer provided the required information. These six new stations will measure the parameters of temperature, rainfall, wind strength, and air pressure and automatically transfer data to a control center monitored by the Directorate of Meteorology. 

At Nyonié, a tourist site on the beach near Wonga-Wongue National Park, these stations will inform tourists and help them better plan for their excursions according to the weather forecast. Mr. Moukambi, the manager of Chez Béti campsite, stated that people who visit the area very often call them in advance to ask about the weather and to know if the waters are calm or not. "I think these stations will improve things a lot. All we ask for is improvement," he added.

Mr. Moukambi, Manager of the Chez Béti campsite in Nyonié

Aerial view of the “Chez Béti”campsite

Following the installation of the six stations, UNDP is organizing a series of workshops and seminars to strengthen the capacity of partners to produce and disseminate data, information and warnings on extreme weather, climate and hydrological conditions.