My name is Honore, and I am a Field Engineer at TAHMO here in Rwanda. My main work is to maintain the network of TAHMO weather stations and act as representative of TAHMO here in Rwanda.
We have 16 Automatic Weather stations which are distributed in 4 Provinces. Most stations are in Kigali municipal and in the Northern Province.
I joined TAHMO in 2018. My initial goal then was to restore transmission capacity of Rwandan Stations which had been offline for a while.
The culture at TAHMO has a way of elevating my execution capabilities; it emphasizes on staff making decisions and following up with them. The culture also emphasizes planning and innovation. We also have a great support team among ourselves and the management.
Since March 2020 when COVID-19 hit Rwanda (and the world), I had to change a few things. It was difficult to work from home and hope to maintain high rate of productivity. Now we use techniques like TeamViewer to maintain stations remotely. I also keep close contacts with the hosts of the weather stations who helps us troubleshoot minor issues. .
I was the only TAHMO field engineer when I started. In 2020, I trained 2 volunteer assistant technicians; Jean and Elie. They have been working in northern and southern provinces . I am happy they have quickly adapted to TAHMO culture and are very helpful.
A School-2-school interactive event was held at St. Monica’s Senior High School at Asante Mampong in Ghana. The event was at a request of the host teacher who has just taken over the responsibility of the TAHMO Station.
It was a short and successful event. The opportunity was to provide students with the following:
The students and teachers were made aware of TAHMO and its activities. TAHMO operates 600+ Automatic weather stations on the African continent. These stations are located in 23 countries in Africa. TAHMO supports all the national meteorological agencies that it works with by providing access to its’ data.
TAHMO stations collects data for all the weather parameters – solar radiation (sunshine hours), rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure. These sensors were pointed out to them as well as the data logger that stores and transmit the data.
Climate or weather data borders on security, as reliable and accurate data help save the environment, lives and properties. Weather related disasters like flooding and drought impact can be minimized with accurate and reliable data. This will help provide adequate warning to the people in the affected region, area or community ahead of the impending disaster. The students were made to understand and appreciate these as critical use of weather or climatic data.
The sch2sch Initiative is the platform designed to link or connect the schools that hosts TAHMO stations. To ensure this, access to the data from the station in the school is given, educational materials to support teaching and learning and regular interaction sessions are also provided. This is to ensure the station is not detached but facilitates learning at the school.
The TAHMO school-2-School program brings excitement as TAHMO host schools are informed, educated and entertained on this platform.
St. Monica’s Senior High School is a single sex (girls) school located at Asante Mampong in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It is one of the top schools in the region and the country at large. It offers avenue for students to study science, business and arts. The school became a TAHMO school in 2017 when it hosted a station.
My name is Cyuzuzo Honore, a coordinator for TAHMO in Rwanda.
I had an idea of developing weather information service for student in Rwanda. The idea won me a grant.
It started at a challenging time in 2020: COVID-19 hit. In Rwanda, TAHMO activities (especially those that involved travelling) were disrupted. During the first months of COVID there was a lot of fear since only little information on the virus was available. But as days went by, these informations became available; we knew how to protect ourselves and eachother which reduced the fear we all felt at first. But still Rwanda – my country – was under travel restrictions.
Mid-August I got to know about LOOP ACCELERATOR – an incubation program for Education Startups. I have long had a vision to improve climate literacy in the younger generation. With motivation from TAHMO’s SCHOOL – 2 – SCHOOL program, I envisioned developing a climate information platform. My Idea was to was to develop a portal with this information, then add some climate change mitigation and adaptation skills on the online platform that will be accessible to Rwandan schools.
Severe Weather Consult, TAHMO’s sister company in Rwanda, has a platform called iHEWA, whose goal is to enhance accessibility of weather information services. Among the targets of the platform are the students – they interact, learn and experiment local weather data which enhances their knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation. We strongly believe education is an essential element of the global response to climate change.
I submitted my concept and it won a grant. I spent 3 months in Loop accelerator. It was great opportunity to share experience with other more than 10 startups in Education including some already in the market. It was also a milestone to let Rwanda ICT Chamber, GIZ, SMART Africa get to know what we are doing as TAHMO in closing the gap by providing accurate and efficient Meteorological data. In addition, Loop accelerator grant us 800 USD in total that helped us develop IHEWA Online platform (click to visit ihewa).
IHEWA will be as online library for climate literacy for young generation to start act on climate change action plan. Also, IHEWA will be like a tool for schools while they are teaching climate change mitigation and adaptation. A vast online platform that will be including climate science lesson plans, climate change mitigation and adaptation skills and climate change risk reduction tips.
In the Lake Kivu region, water erosion is the main driver for soil degradation, but observational data to quantify the extent and to assess the spatial-temporal dynamics of the controlling factors are hardly available. In particular, high spatial and temporal resolution rainfall data are essential as precipitation is the driving force of soil erosion. In this study, we evaluated to what extent high temporal resolution data from the TAHMO network (with poor spatial and long-term coverage) can be combined with low temporal resolution data (with a high spatial density covering long periods of time) to improve rainfall erosivity assessments. To this end, 5 minute rainfall data from TAHMO stations in the Lake Kivu region, representing ca. 37 observation-years, were analyzed. The analysis of the TAHMO data showed that rainfall erosivity was mainly controlled by rainfall amount and elevation and that this relation was different for the dry and wet season. By combining high and low temporal resolution databases and a set of spatial covariates, an environmental regression approach (GAM) was used to assess the spatiotemporal patterns of rainfall erosivity for the whole region. A validation procedure showed relatively good predictions for most months (R2 between 0.50 and 0.80), while the model was less performant for the wettest (April) and two driest months (July and August) (R2 between 0.24 and 0.38). The predicted annual erosivity was highly variable with a range between 2000 and 9000 MJ mm ha−1 h−1 yr−1 and showed a pronounced east–west gradient which is strongly influenced by local topography. This study showed that the combination of high and low temporal resolution rainfall data and spatial prediction models can be used to improve the assessments of monthly and annual rainfall erosivity patterns that are grounded in locally calibrated and validated data.
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L’Observatoire Hydrométéorologique Trans-Africain (TAHMO) est une association à but non lucrative qui cherche à développer un réseau dense de stations météorologiques sur le continent africain. Cela se traduit sur le terrain par l’installation de stations météorologiques automatiques, robustes et efficaces. TAHMO opère actuellement dans les régions centrales, orientales, occidentales et australes de l’Afrique et compte actuellement plus de 500 stations installées reparties dans cinq (05) Zones.
Dans la zone 2, TAHMO opère dans sept (07) pays dont le Burkina, le Mali, le Niger, le Sénégal, la Centrafrique, le Tchad et le Cameroun. La Zone 2 compte à ce jour plus de 70 stations.
TAHMO a pour objectif de fournir un taux de fonctionnement de 95% sur l’ensemble de son réseau de stations météorologiques à tout moment afin d’assurer une disposition des données de qualités et continues. Afin d’atteindre ces objectifs TAHMO souhaite renforcer son équipe avec un technicien ou un ingénieur de terrain.
Le travail se fait principalement sur le terrain où les stations sont installées et implique donc des déplacements. La personne pressentie, une fois sélectionnée, Co-assurera l’entretien des quarante-trois (43) stations installées actuellement au Mali, ce nombre est appelé à évoluer rapidement sachant que l’objectif de TAHMO est l’installation d’environ vingt mille stations (20 000) stations météorologiques automatiques sur le continent.
La langue principale de fonctionnement de l’organisation à but non lucrative TAHMO est l’anglais, ainsi la compréhension et la pratique de l’anglais et du français sont indispensable.
Le technicien ou l’ingénieur de terrain représente TAHMO sur place, il coordonne les activités de TAHMO sous la supervision du directeur régional de la Zone 2. Il devra :
Le Technicien ou l’ingénieur de terrain relève directement du directeur régional, du directeur des opérations et du Directeur Général.
Les candidatures, les lettres de motivation et les curriculum vitae (CV) doivent être envoyés par courrier électronique au plus tard le 19 Février 2021 à 23h59 à l’adresse suivante.
Le directeur régional
TAHMO Zone 2
Tel : +226 70 16 94 23
TAHMO country representative for Kenya Victor Omoit joined Faith Wawira – Senior ICT Officer (WRA) and Joseph Mukola – Principal Meteorology Technician (KMD) on a five day field work to carry out regular maintenance on 10 Automatic Weather Stations installed in the Nzoia basin.
The team started their work in Eldoret sub-region then to Kitale Sub region and finally complete their activity in Kakamega.
The stations involved were at the following locations: Ndalat, Naiberi, Turbo NYS, Chebororwa ATC, Kapcherop, Mt Elgon Flowers, Koitobos, Ndalu, Malava, Nzoia Sugar Company and finally Butere Girls High School.
Early warning Systems could contribute up to 36:1 in terms of benefit-costs ratios in developing countries. However they are often non-functional mostly due to lack of weather and stream-flow data (WMO-No.1153). This is the challenge that TAHMO is addressing with a dense network of ground observing stations which provides near real-time reliable data to improve Numerical Weather Predictions (NWP) and hydro-logical models for Africa through data assimilation (satellites and in-situ data). https://tahmo.org/climate-data/
Whatever solution is provided for an Early Warning System should be easily scalable, sustainable and impactful. It needs to be a complete end-to-end solution which involves data collection, processing and dissemination of “localized” information to end users and the use of the information in their activities in the form of warnings to build their resilience through disaster preparedness and flood risk reduction. This is the basis for which the Water Resources Authority (WRA) installed an Early Warning System consisting of 10 Automatic Weather Stations and 7 Automatic Water level Stations in 2018/2019 and TAHMO is very happy to have been part of this project.
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.