TAHMO

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On March 15, Kenya was put on partial lockdown after 2 COVID cases were reported in the country.  Alongside government imposed dusk to dawn curfew, schools were closed and movement restricted. Within a week, the lockdown wave had spread to most East Africa countries. It created a sense of panic, fear and uncertainty. This hit our team hard because our work involves travelling, meetings and working with schools. I wondered how we would carry on with field activities.

At TAHMO East Africa, we have an elaborate guidelines for field work that ensures we provide high quality data. If a weather station is faulty for instance, our first point of contact is the host who checks if the issue is minor and where possible resolve the issue. But if the issue is more complicated, one of our technician/meteorologist/engineers visits the site. Additionally, we have put structures for preventing station failures. One way is by yearly preventive maintenance where we visits all the stations to identify any potential future problems and resolve them before hand.

When lockdown came along, we were at the peak of our yearly stations’ maintenances. I also had scheduled travels, clients to meet, projects to initiate and projects to push forward. All this was put me in a limbo. Top on my list of attention was how our team would carry along repairs. There are no two ways with weather stations. If it is not working, data not captured will never be recovered. But how then would we carry on with the activities with COVID challenges?

In Kenya, most stations are hosted in schools. When schools shut a big number of teachers relocated. We did not have effective communication with the hosts any more. Travelling to the sites was was a challenge too. You would be comforted with several fears – caught out of time due to delays in screenings mounted in roadblocks, or at worst, being put on government quarantine.

By mid April, we had put a structure where more people would help with field activities. In Kenya for instance Victor (TAHMO Engineer) involved former interns and volunteers living in areas where we could not travel to assist with some of the work. In Rwanda, Honore (TAHMO Engineer), trained new technicians via zoom that would take work in areas in regions he was unable to travel.

At the time of this writing (mid July 2020) countries are easing restrictions. There is less fear – we have probably learnt to carry on with our work amidst the challenges. TAHMO East Africa Network improved tremendously in the last two months. Not everything is working right, and we do not expect all to all to be smooth soon. There is still a sense of uncertainty on how the future will look like after COVID.  But we will keep the hope and develop more ways of keeping our work going.

Based in Chicago, Farm Immersive is a weekly blog by Peter Miller. His posts explore global food and agriculture innovations.

In a recent blog published on the 13th of April 2020 we got a honorary mention. In the Peter Miller’s exact words TAHMO is a bold project to build weather stations across Africa and share that data free of charge. This will greatly enhance all crop insurance modeling across the continent”.

want to read more on this beautifully written piece? click here

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, activities have been highly slowed down. However, Victor in Kenya is trying to keep things moving. Being a field engineer, it is a bit complicated for him to work from home, but during this pandemic, he adjusts and finds ways to ensure that field activities do not stop completely especially for stations that need urgent maintenance - for the data, we lose today cannot be readily regained. Read more

COVID-19

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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.

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