7 December 2020: Ministry of Environment, supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, handed over 6 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to be established in six islands of the Maldives, to Maldives Meteorological Services (MMS) this morning.
By adding on to the network of Auto Weather Stations in Maldives, the project will improve the accuracy of the rainfall and weather predictions. This will enable communities to harvest and manage rainwater more efficiently, ultimately driving towards better water security for communities throughout the Maldives.
The main objectives of the expanding the AWS network in the Maldives are to:
- Enable continuous weather monitoring and prediction capacity
- Improve accuracy in coverage area by reducing the data gap resulting from the distance between the few existing AWS units
- With these 6 AWS units, the total number of AWS units in Maldives would be 43. Up from 5 operating AWS as of 5 years ago.
- Rather than creating parallel AWS measures for the project, the 6 will be integrated into the national AWS network and provide coverage for project regions.
Ministry of Environment has been working closely with the Maldives Metrological Service (MMS) to integrate the needs of the project led by the Ministry into climate modelling and monitoring systems that are being upgraded by the MMS. Through this collaboration the MMS will undertake operation and maintenance of all Automatic Weather Stations to be installed under the project.
UNDP relies on national partners such as the Ministry of Environment, as our implementing partner, to create the synergies with other state authorities to ensure the project benefits are sustained beyond the project life-span. The linkage with MMS adds value to the project's objectives by improving accuracy of weather predictions, which enables the national and local authorities to manage water resources and plan for shortages.
UNDP Resident Representative Akiko Fujii Akiko congratulated the Ministry and its leadership on achieving this tremendous achievement, in spite of the challenging times, and made note of the importance of this intervention for Maldivian communities for whom water is scarce and precious. The provision of the AWS’s are also timely, as water availability and access to clean water is crucial to combatting the COVID-19 crisis, Akiko said, speaking at the handover ceremony.
Akiko further stated that the project accelerates progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation and SDG 13 on climate action.