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Due to the current COVID-19 situation stations uptime might be affected. We are doing our best to maintain a very high uptime but remote stations could be affected due to restrictions on travels in these difficult times.

ENDEAVOR TO STAY SAFE
– Avoid public gatherings or crowds.
– Wash your hands with soap for at least 20seconds when you come in from public areas or use an alcohol-based (more than 60%) sanitizer.
– If there are restrictions of movement in your locality, kindly heed to them.
– Practice social distancing.

Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) seeks to develop a dense network of meteorological stations on the African continent. This is done by installing low cost but robust and efficient automatic weather stations. Currently, TAHMO operates in Central, Eastern, Western and Southern parts of Africa and has over 500 stations installed.

In TAHMO Zone 3 which is of interest for this opportunity, TAHMO operates in Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana. In total, TAHMO currently has close to 150 stations in these four (4) countries.

As part of ensuring efficiency, stations must be kept running at all times with an optimal level of not less than 95%. In order to achieve this, there is a need to bolster our team in these four countries to ensure stations operate at the optimal levels.

The job is mainly on the field where the stations are installed and therefore entails a lot of traveling. The prospective person when selected will maintain the stations in Togo and Benin with a total of about 50 stations.

TAHMO’s quality Control procedures are mostly in English, so it will require the services of someone who is excellent in both English and French (spoken and written).

Roles and responsibilities

The Field Engineer/Technician will be the technical contact for TAHMO weather installations and maintenance in these countries (Togo & Benin).  This person supervises and assures proper installation, operation, and site relationships with a host of TAHMO stations including the national meteorological agencies of the countries.  He will assist in marketing and operations, as time allows. Specifically, as a Field Engineer or technician you will be required to:

  1. Liaise with the Regional Supervisor (based in Accra, Ghana), Operations Manager and CEO to gather information and materials for field operations in Togo, Benin and any other country that will be assigned to you by the CEO;
  2. Perform field operations, including installation and maintenance of weather stations:
    1. Maintain  95% operational rate for all stations under your supervision;
    2. Report weekly to the Regional Supervisor regarding station performance and installation (QA/QC evaluation), a log of effort for the past week, plan and share weekly and monthly activities and calendar;
  3. Maintain up-to-date metadata on all stations in Togo, Benin and other countries assigned to you, including photos and site visit reports from every site visit using a logbook and/or TAHMO online QA/QC tools;
  4. Ensure that all stations within your purview are visited at least twice annually and more often if needed to maintain, repair or replace stations.
  5. Maintain tools needed for field operations and any asset as may be applicable;
  6. Efficiently and effectively supervise station hosts;
  7. Support the team to improve quality control and quality assurance programs;

 

  1. Liaise with other team members, including the Regional Supervisor, CEO, and Operations Manager to supervise and train new interns;
  2. Support top management to establish and maintain and enhance effective formal and informal links with key partners including the Togo Meteorological Department (TMA), Meteo Benin, relevant government departments and agencies, local authorities, key decision-makers, and other stakeholders generally, to exchange information and views and to ensure that TAHMO is providing the appropriate range and quality of services needed;
  3. Actively market TAHMO services and products in Togo, Benin and other countries that may be assigned to you;
  4. Support the School2school activities in Togo and Benin;
  5. Support TAHMO to strategically position itself to receive enough funds through projects, services, and products to enhance its growth in Togo and Benin;
  6. Ensure that TAHMO complies with all local laws including the payment of all relevant taxes;
  7. Perform other related duties as may be required by the Regional Supervisor, CEO or top management.

 

Reporting lines

The Field Engineer reports directly to the Regional Supervisor, Operations Manager, and the CEO.

 

Qualifications

HND or higher level of education in Meteorology, Physics, Civil Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Science, and related programs.

The ability to write and speak excellent English is a must.

Applications, letters of motivation and curriculum vitae (CVs) should be sent via email by 22nd March 2020 to:

The Regional Director

TAHMO West Africa

Ghana Meteorological Agency

Accra – Ghana

kadjnr001@gmail.com  (Please note it is zero zero one)

           

Website: www.tahmo.org

Email: info@tahmo.org

Every year on the 3rd March the world commemorates World Wildlife Day. We celebrate the wide diversity of animals and plants across the globe while raising awareness about threats facing them.

This year’s theme, “Life below water: for people and plant” is inspired by goal 14of UN sustainable goals which aims to conserve the oceans while also sustainably extracting resources from within them. TAHMO is one of many initiatives contributing to wildlife and water agenda.

TAHMO has installed 10 stations within 22 km of Kenyan coastline, and distributed along the entire coastline. In all national parks, you will find a TAHMO weather station with close range.  Shimba HillsNational park hosts one of many TAHMO stations in Kenya. There are 9 stations close to Maasai Mara national park, 11 stations circling Mount Kenya national park, 5stations near Aberdare national park, 2 stations near Chyulu national park and the list continues. Initiatives like Maasai Mara citizen observatory and TWIGA, which TAHMO is part of, will contribute to the sustainability of wildlife.

TAHMO stations on Kenya’s Coastline. Source

We understand the world today is seeking better ways to conserve and sustainably use the forests, oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and weather data is a critical component of it. Are you working in wildlife conservation sector and in need of weather data? Reach us on: info@tahmo.org.

Written byGilbert. Twitter: @mwangilbert

Vulnerability to Blue Tick will likely increase in the coming years in Laikipia County in Kenya unless stakeholders intervene. This is according to Peter Mbugua, a Geospatial Information Science and Remote Sensing student at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, Kenya.

Influences of climate changes in the spatial and temporal variation of tick-borne diseases (TBD) are frequently overlooked by researchers. Consequently, there are no effective control strategies and measures to minimize the spread of TBD’s. This results in the loss of livestock, lower productivity, decrease in human health and reduced income from (agro)tourism.

Peter has identified areas in Kenya for low, middle and high risk of TBD. Through using GIS-based Multi-criteria evaluation – including humidity, rainfall, temperature, wetlands, rivers, and slope of the county – Peter determined that the changing trends in weather patterns in the last 15 years continues to favors parasite survival. 

These results can be used to implement measures to counter the spread. For example, high-risk areas can be sprayed and pastoralists can be informed about farm &-livestock management to prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases.

**Written by Peter Mbugua

Commissioning of the ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station of TAHMO.
Commissioning of the ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station

To keep pace with advancement in sensor design and technology on weather related issues, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Joseph Fuwape has commissioned a newly installed 4th Generation ATMOS 41 Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at the WASCAL Centre, FUTA. This is an upgrade of the 1st Generation Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) Automatic Weather Station (AWS) which was installed at the WASCAL Meteorological Observatory at the Federal University of Technology, Akure in 2014 as the first TAHMO Station in Nigeria.

Continue reading…

The idea of TAHMO started back in 2010/2011 and was formalized through a foundation in 2014. Since 2014 the organization managed to install over 400+ weather stations across 20 African countries. An amazing achievement. However, this did not go as simple as an ABC. Through this blog we would like to lift the curtain on some of the challenges that we faced throughout the years. Perhaps you – our reader – are able to come up with suggestion or ideas to smoothen the challenges that we face up ahead.

So here come the six challenges that TAHMO faces.

Administrative challenges

Have a partnership agreement with national metrological agencies. Every country has a different administrative structure. Countries differ in the way they do business and set up collaboration programs. How do you share data? Who gets it first? How do you share costs and revenues? Who does the maintenance? All these questions need to be answered before you can operate in the area of a governmental agency.

Find an experienced local host who is available in the case of station maintenance. The training that one has to give a local host depends on the various factors. Like is the host staying in the area for the long term? We create a shared responsibility by providing the local host with access to the weather data. This is how the school2school platform was set up. This resulted that most of the local hosts are teachers. Consequently, with 400+ weather stations, this means that a lot of hosts are needed which puts the strain on good & quality relationship management with each host.

Economic challenges

Weather stations are not free. Funding is needed to buy the stations and put them in the right location. We have to pay for the installation and maintenance of each station. Now, here is a little eye-opener: the larger your infrastructure, the more money you have to pay for your maintenance. And maintenance is not always easy. Some weather stations might be right around the corner. But sometimes you must drive up a full day for a quick fix. And although our weather station is the most robust weather stations out there, that does not guarantee a maintenance-free infrastructure. Leaves can get into the funnel, sensors might stop working, or perhaps a tree has overgrown near our weather station, influencing the data.

Equipment challenges

Everywhere we go, we find a different setting with different conditions. The access to the site might be bad, there are safety concerns of theft of our weather stations and more. Sensors might stop working, a hardware update might deplete the batteries and if the station is not regularly cleaned, it will influence the data and even might stop working. For this reason, we promote the cleaning of our stations through our social media. To create awareness that infrastructure should be regularly maintained.

Data Sharing Challenges

The TAHMO weather stations collect data. But with big data, comes great responsibility. With whom do we share this data? What do our partners want to do with it? Should we give it to other governmental institutions like housing or military? Could our data be used to harm people or minorities? These questions are of major importance which have – most of the time – no clear answers. 

Setting up the infrastructure has not been easy. But with the help of our partners, researchers, enthusiast, volunteers, and our great team, we’ve managed to install 400+ weather stations in 20 countries. A great success.

Do you have ideas on how to help TAHMO? Please share them by sending an email to info@tahmo.org

**Written by Theophile Mande & Friso Vos de Wael

TAHMO places their weather stations at schools so the instruments and data can be used in the classroom. The goal for this is to enhance the climate change curricula. Our TAHMO Field Engineer Kwame Duah went to the Accra Girls Senior High School in Accra to train them in using the weather station. These sessions are great fun. Students are eager to learn about ” what that weather station in their school playground does” and how it can be used in climate change. Here we show 4 different steps on how students learn about climate change through TAHMO. 

TAHMO explained in the classroom

First is a session on how the teachers and students perceive climate change and how it affect their lives. Students explain how irregularity in rainfall makes it difficult for the farm management on their family farm. Teacher tell how it was 20, 30 or even 40 years ago which is a great example of how our climate has evolved in such a short time period. This session creates a direct involvement of everyone in the class. It excites both students, teachers, as well as the TAHMO representative.  

Second, we go outside, stretch the legs! After discussing it, we are going to see it. Students are brought within the enclosure of the weather station to see it up close. It is explained how the surroundings of the weather station are of great influence. We should not have trees to grow next to it or to allow trucks to park in the vicinity to the weather station since it will affect the data. 

Third, we open the weather station. Every little detail and every sensor is thoroughly discussed. What does it do? How does the sensor work? Students can touch and feel it. It is shown how important maintenance is. That it should be checked every month to see if there are no leaves or insects in it.

TAHMO shown to the classroom.

Fourth, we bring out a laptop and show the students how they can log in and access the data. What they can do with it and how it is used by researchers all over the world. This illustrates the importance of everything we did before. How good maintenance provides accurate data, how the environment affects the weather station, and how the data can be used for the farmers to improve their yield. 

Are you a student, teacher or involved in any other way with a school anywhere in the world. And you want to join the TAHMO school2school program? Then be sure to contact us through info@tahmo.org.

**Written by Kwame Duah

TWIGA partners together in Ghana for the TWIGA days
TWIGA partners together in Ghana!

The first week of the TWIGA days consisted of meetings, workshops, and conferences. The first day (Monday) consisted of updates from all the TWIGA partners about the progress made in the previous period. All updates about the projects that have been completed and are still in the developing stage and problems that have occurred have been included.

The Tuesday consisted mostly of workshops. Here, the TWIGA partners split up into three groups; biosphere; hydrosphere and atmosphere. In these workgroups, the partners discussed various new services that could be developed. They made a feasibility and cost analysis and then chose one of the possible services to discuss further.

Develop business models for TWIGA services.
TU Delft students chair a meeting to develop business models for TWIGA services. 

The resulting services which were derived from this workshop are:

  1. Improved insurance for farmers with weather data
  2. Advice for potatoes and cocoa spray
  3. Solar power generation
  4. Early warning system for flooding

The students will focus their internship on the development of these business models for these services in the upcoming months. 

On Wednesday the group participated in a user needs assessment workshop with local farmer-& agribusiness representatives. For this workshop, the team split up again and gave advice about how a user needs can be identified with the Business Model Development method. This workshop was held to identify the farmer’s needs and the agribusinesses needs, with these needs, the corresponding services that TWIGA could deliver were identified. The user needs assessment revealed that services are required, but that facilitating these services is very expensive and might not provide the desired result that the farmers would want. Also, the needs of farmers and agribusinesses match quite well, both would benefit from a lot of services. Interesting was that the users mentioned that they need education and capacity building in farm management knowledge. For example, it is greatly beneficial if a user knows when and how much fertilizers or pesticides needs to be applied. This need can go hand-in-hand with the weather services that TWIGA provides. Since the leaching of fertilizers or pesticides correlates with the weather.

Visiting farmers, weather stations and flooded areas in and around Kumasi

On Thursday the TWIGA partners stretched their legs on a field trip. The weather station was right on the campus of KNUST (Kumasi University). Continuing to the next weather station at a palm oil plantation where a soil moisture sensors were included. 

After these visits were made, all the partners visited a flood site, a bridge over a river in the neighborhood of Aboabo, were many floods take place on a yearly basis. In this situation, the risks and health hazards of floods could also be identified. The floods and blocked drains in the neighborhood made many houses be filled with water on the bottom, like in the picture below. This has made numerous houses uninhabitable and the stagnating water in the area becomes a breeding spot for mosquitos and vector-borne diseases. 

Flooding affected a local mosque in Kumasi.

Lastly,  the group visited a farm, to inspect it for possible placement of a soil moisture sensor (a cable covering the entire field). This sensor can measure which parts of the farmland are in need of moisture of fertilizers, aiding in the efficiency of farming. A great additional benefit to the TWIGA services.

All in all, the TWIGA days illustrated the great need there is for weather services. Looking forward to the next partner meeting!

**Written by Roxana Vafa, Rosalie Middendorp & Anne Schermerhorn. Students of the Delft University of Technology.