Climate Information and Early Warning Systems

Sierra Leone is vulnerable to the increasing frequency and severity of droughts, floods and severe storms and their impacts on sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, as well as infrastructure and hydroelectric power production. Such climate-related hazards are having increasingly adverse effects on the country, and future climate change is likely to further exacerbate the situation. A large proportion of the Sierra Leone population has a very low capacity to adapt to climate change. Climate change impacts are likely to be particularly negative on Sierra Leone’s rural population because of their high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods. 

The project on Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change is part of a regional initiative that includes 11 countries in Africa. The primary problem that the project seeks to address in Sierra Leone is that current climate information (including monitoring) and early warning systems are not functioning sufficiently to support adaptive capacity of local communities and key sectors. This hampers long-term planning, management and early warning activities, and adaptation to climate change impacts.

The project aims to improve climate monitoring and early warning systems through a series of targeted interventions. To improve the management of climate-related hazards the project will support the Sierra Leone Meteorological Department in providing more effective delivery of climate information including early warnings. A functional network of meteorological and hydrological monitoring stations and associated infrastructure will be established to better understand climatic changes. Capacity of the Meteorological Department will be enhanced for the development and dissemination of tailored weather and climate information to decision makers as well as to integrate weather and climate information into national and local policies.

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Accomplishments so far

COMPONENT 1: Transfer of technologies for climate and environmental monitoring infrastructure

OUTCOME 1. Enhanced capacity of national hydro-meteorological (NHMS) institutions to monitor extreme weather and produce sector tailored weather forecasting.

Output 1.a. Building of the hydro-meteorological monitoring network.

Output 1.b. Building of the weather monitoring network.

Output 1.c. Strengthening the development of human capacity and forecast supporting facilities.

COMPONENT 2: Integration of climate information

OUTCOME 2.  Efficient and effective use of hydro-meteorological information for generating early warnings and support long-term development plans

Output 2.a.   Strengthening the capacity of SLMD to use weather and climate information to develop timely and accurate weather forecast.

Output 2.b.    Strengthening the capacity of SLMD to develop new tailored products to serve Early Warning System.

Output 2.c.     Developing a strategy for using climate and early warnings in CC risk assessment, adaptation planning and mainstreaming CCA into existing plans/strategies

Output 2.d.     Strengthening the existing dissemination and response mechanisms/systems under the Disaster Management Department (DMD).

Output 2.e.     Supporting SLMD to establish a framework for EWS sustainability.

Output 2.f.      Establishing community based EWS pilot sites to test its effectiveness.