Adasa improves the early warning system of São Tomé and Príncipe

Adasa has been awardedwiththesupply of 30 weather and hydrologicalstationssystem, as part of theearlywarningsystemwhich is beendeveloped in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Climate change brings severe and dangerous weather conditions in the country. Storm surges, torrential rains, flash floods, increasing dense fog and strong winds have created hazardous conditions for fishermen, farmersand people living in rural areas along the coast.

Africa’s second-smallest country, São Tomé and Príncipe lies about 250 km off the western coast of Gabon. Its 187,500 inhabitants rely primarily on fishing activities and agriculture.

Part of what makes these conditions so dangerous is the fact that they can come without warning. By 2012, there were only seven functioning automated weather stations in the country. Some had been vandalized and others lacked a direct link for data transmission, meaning that data had to be retrieved manually from each station. Without reliable and timely weather forecasts, people on the coast or in fishing boats can be caught off guard when bad weather strikes.

An ongoing project of the Ministry of Public Works and the National Meteorological Institute aims to help develop more reliable early warning systems to monitor these increasingly severe hydro-meteorological conditions.

“This project is a big boost to our institution”, says Joao Vicente, Director of the National Institution of Meteorology. “From now on we will be able to capture hydro-meteorological data, analyze it and issue early warnings that will save lives and enable us to give a robust response to any natural disaster.”

In addition, this information can eventually be combined with socioeconomic and environmental data to improve São Tomé’s decision-making processes and increase the resilience of local farming and fishing communities to climate-related shocks. In the coming years, the government of São Tomé will work with to integrate this weather and climate information into national policies, agricultural land-use planning and disaster preparedness.