Limited rain collecting data a problem for NMS

18 Jan 2018 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JAN (NAMPA) – The limited number of volunteers collecting rainfall countrywide is affecting the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS)’s data monitoring, Simon Dirkse, NMS Chief Technician for Climate and Databank has said.
In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, Dirkse said the number of volunteers collecting rainfall data has declined over the years.
He emphasised that although NMS has 132 active stations at specific towns in all 14 regions, they are not sufficient for the collecting of rainfall data, adding that the centre needs at least 400 stations to provide credible rain data due to the high rain variability.
“I was supposed to release a bulletin this week about the progress of rain from October to December 2017, but the number of stations that gave the data to do the analysis is not satisfactory. One cannot draw a conclusion from them,” said Dirkse.
He noted that amongst volunteers that contribute to the collection of rainfall data are police stations, farmers, national parks and agricultural extension services.
Dirkse said NMS has reached out to agricultural extensions under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to assist.
“We held a rainfall measurement workshop in July 2017, but only a few people showed up due to a lack of funds. We also sent out about 400 letters to farmers regarding the importance of assisting in collecting rainfall data,” he said.
Dirkse called on the public to voluntarily contribute to the monitoring and collecting of rainfall data as it plays a significant role in the dissemination of rainfall figures for national and international interest.