The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) was officially opened today by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Ngong, near the Kenyan capital Nairobi. ICPAC is a designated regional climate centre by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide climate services and early warnings to 11 East African countries.
“We live in uncertain times, increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa. Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change,” said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“In times of climate extremes and increased intensity and frequency of hazards, providing quality climate services and early warnings is key. Climate doesn’t stop at borders, and having strong intergovernmental institutions able to provide early warnings is key,” said ICPAC’s Director, Dr Guleid Artan.
As part of the centre’s launch, a Disaster Operations Center was established, with a situation room that monitors major hazards and provides early regional warnings for drought, floods, extreme rainfall, food insecurity, or pests like the desert locust.
ICPAC is committed to championing innovation in earth monitoring systems, open data access, and multi-hazard early warning systems. As such, the opening of the situation room follows the launch of East Africa Hazards Watch in July – a system developed by ICPAC to meet the growing need for public and cross-border risk information due to increasing climate extremes. The system, the first of its kind in Africa, allows tracking climate hazards rising in frequency and intensity due to climate change.
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