UNMA challenges journalists to disseminate daily weather information. Media houses and journalists have been implored to take keen interest championing weather and climate information to the masses as the only way to avoid calamities among the farmers.
According to Lillian Nkwenge, the Principal Public Relations Officer at Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) most farmers countrywide have failed to harvest partly due to calamities caused by lack of weather and climate information to know when or not to plant their crops.
The trainning was hosted in Mbarara district where UNMA stakeholders including; District Natural Resources Coordinators, District Production officers, Communication officers and one CSO representative from each district who were engaged in a workshop to design and refine weather warning systems.
The trainning also involved media personalities from 10 districts in Western uganda. A media training of 25 journalists mostly from broadcasting.. Radios and TV will take place tomorrow and Saturday.
While addressing the trainnees, Nkwenge observed that if farmers are equipped with weather forecasts on a daily basis provided by the media houses, it will help them to avoid such scenarios that may happen.
She made remarks on Saturday while closing a two-day seminar for local FM Radio stations’ staff on weather and climate information dissemination at the Acacia Hotel in Mbarara City.
Nkwenge urged media houses and presenters to spare at least five minutes every day to inform the general public on weather changes of the day which will be provided by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) every after 6 hours at no cost.
However, she warned presenters and media houses against using weather updates from other sites rather than Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) updates stressing that it can lead to court cases and is contrary to UNMA ACT 2012.
Abubakar Kalema from UNMA noted that the seminar was aimed at enhancing the capacity of media personnel to effectively disseminate weather and climate information to targeted small holder farmers in order to effectively manage climate risks in the country.
The senior staff member Bataze James hailed journalists and media houses for turning up and asked them to use the knowledge and skills acquired to educate and inform the general public.
The veteran journalist based in Kigezi Stephen Rupiiha commended the authority for considering local FM journalists for such seminars and tasked the trainees to mobilize the media houses managers to embrace weather and climate information.
Journalists from 25 FM radio stations in south western Uganda attended the trainning, which was organized by UNMA and funded by the United Nations Development Program as part of an 8 year project of wetlands restoration in 12 districts of south western Uganda.