Weather stations receive equipment

United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu (right) and UN’s Resident Corodinator and UNDP’s resident representative for Pacific Osnat Lubrani (left) hand over the equipments to Fiji Meteorological Services Director Ravind Kumar in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

ABOUT 99 per cent of all automated weather stations in the country are fully operational, thanks to equipment given by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). A range of sensor equipment was among other products handed over to the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) yesterday.

The contribution was made through the Disaster Resilience for Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) project which is funded by the Russian Government and implemented by the UNDP.

While receiving the equipment, FMS director Ravind Kumar said the assistance would greatly assist in strengthening forecasting abilities.

“We have seen over time that a number of weather stations were deteriorating in terms of sending out information to the national centre. “This has been rectified, it is now 99 per cent operational and with this equipment and spares given, it will enable us to readily replace sensors as they are down, we’d be able to keep them online.”

Sensors installed in these automated weather stations would measure environmental factors including pressure, temperature, soil moisture, wind and humidity.

“Certainly most of our automated weather stations are based in the maritime zones and getting into those areas is quite difficult and this is why we have opted for a station which does not need human intervention on a day to day basis. “What it only needs is calibration and maintenance every six months which is much more affordable.”

UNDP director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu, said they were pleased to partner with FMS to boost forecasting capability in the region. The equipment is estimated to value at more than $F30,000.

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