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Meteorology programmes to be enhanced

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Plans are underway to enhance the meteorology courses offered at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Meteorology, in the College of Biological and Physical Sciences.

This was discussed when the Secretary General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Prof. Petteri Taalas and the Director, Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), Mr. Peter Ambenje, paid a courtesy on the Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi.

It was agreed that the degree courses offered at the Department of Meteorology through the WMO cooperation with the University to be enhanced to meet Africa’s demand in the area of specialization. The Department of Meteorology is WMO’s training centre for Africa.

“Meteorological training is becoming a more complex field given the current issues of climate change,” observed Prof. Mbeche, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs and ag. Administration and Finance. “There is need to not only revise the programme but also to increase the number of international students.”

Prof. Mbeche was speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi.

“The effects of climate change will have a big negative impact on Africa,” said Prof. Taalas. “Governments have to be better prepared to deal with the adverse effects. We have to keep updating the training in the meteorology field. This therefore calls for more staff and students to be trained. WMO is ready to support UoN in training and enhancing capacity to meet the meteorological needs of Africa.”

On his part, Mr. Ambenje said that KMD will continue to accord UoN the necessary support needed in training students pursuing meteorology.

“We have a collaboration in which UoN has access to our facilities and the necessary equipment needed in the field,” he said. “We give students the opportunity to train and interact with professionals.”

According to the Chairman, Department of Meteorology, Dr. Alfred Opere, the Department was established in 1963 at the request of the East African Community (EAC), WMO and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to train professional meteorologists for the English speaking countries of Africa.

“Ever since its inception, the Department of Meteorology has continued to play a major role in training highly skilled meteorological personnel, most of whom are currently manning National Meteorological Services (NWS) of most countries in Africa. In response to the evolving needs, the Department has developed several other programs in applied fields,” he said.

Present during the meeting was the Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Prof. Bernard Aduda, Director, Center for International Programmes and Linkages, Prof. William Ogara and Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. John Orindi.

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