The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) says it intends to finish the installation of 84 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) across the country by end November this year.
In an interview on Tuesday, DCCMS’s Deputy Director of Engineering and Communication, Rodrick Walusa, said currently the work is in progress to make sure that they finish installing all the 84 AWS which would result into timely transmission of weather data from the stations to their offices.
“We have 54 AWS and we also got 30 more through the Trans African Hydro Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) Project. The work is in progress now for the installation of the 54 AWS and as of the 30 we got from TAHMO, the installation will start next week. They will be installed in all the regions up to Songwe and we want all of them to be operational by November end,” he said.
Walusa said once the installation is done, the Automatic Weather Stations would enhance regularity of transmission of data from all the weather parameters as well as promote precision or accuracy of information from the stations.
“Unlike the phased out conventional weather stations where we had weather observers to record and transmit data, the Automatic Weather Station observes, records, processes and transmits the data produced from all parameters on their own, so the department will just be receiving and monitoring hence no extortion,” said Walusa.
He added that through the new machines, they would be able to monitor the intensity of rains, storm movement as well as getting specific site weather forecasts.
He, however, bemoaned power outages rocking the country saying some AWS being installed are powered by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) hence would be affected in terms of their recording and transmission of data.
“Some AWS are powered by ESCOM while others use solar energy powered but we are trying our best to run all the AWS with solar so that we do not get affected due to the power outages,” he said.
The 54 AWS are being installed with the support from the World Bank through the Shire River Basin Management Programme’s Early Warning Project (EWP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).