7 December 2020, Malé, Maldives - The Maldives' Ministry of Environment, supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has handed over six Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to the national Meteorological Service. By adding to the existing network of AWS, the project will improve the accuracy of rainfall and weather predictions, enabling communities to harvest and manage rainwater more efficiently, ultimately driving towards better water security for communities throughout the atoll nation.
The main objectives of expanding the network of AWS are to enhance continuous weather monitoring and projections, and to improve accuracy in coverage by reducing the data gap resulting from the distance between the existing AWS units.
With these six AWS units, the total number of AWS units in Maldives will come to 43, up from five operating AWS five years ago. Rather than creating parallel AWS measures for the project, the new AWS will be integrated into the national network and will provide coverage for the project's regions.
The Ministry of Environment has been working closely with the Meteorological Service to integrate the needs of the project into climate modelling and monitoring systems, currently being upgraded by the Meteorological Service. Under this collaboration, the Meteorological Service will conduct operation and maintenance of all AWS installed by the project.
UNDP relies on national partners such as the Ministry of Environment, as our implementing partner, to create synergies with other state authorities to ensure the project's benefits are sustained beyond its life-span.
UNDP Resident Representative, Akiko Fujii Akiko congratulated the Ministry and its leadership, in spite of the challenging times, and made note of the importance of the intervention for Maldivian communities for whom water is scarce and precious.
The provision of the AWS are timely, as water availability and access to clean water is crucial to combating the COVID-19 crisis, Akiko said, speaking at the handover ceremony.
Akiko further stated that the project accelerates progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation and SDG 13 on climate action.
For more information on the project, 'Supporting Vulnerable Communities in Maldives to Manage Climate Change-Induced Water Shortages', please click here.