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Horn of Africa weather experts discuss climate change


Text of report by Kenyan newspaper The Standard website, BBC Monitoring Africa.

Sep 1, 2005 (Nairobi) — Weather experts from 11 Horn of Africa countries are in Nairobi to explore the possibilities of working with regional governments in minimizing negative impacts of climatic changes.

The scientists will take part in a three-day workshop dubbed: ’The greater Horn of Africa climate outlook forum" where issues touching on climate related risks will dominate the discussions.

Over 100 experts are attending the forum. They are drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Sudan.

Speaking during the opening session, the minister for special projects, Njenga Karume, said the meeting had come at a time when climate information was crucial in assisting governments to take action to reduce risks associated with poor weather.

In a speech read on his behalf by Assistant Minister Wilfred Machage, the minister said 70 per cent of natural disasters that take place in the world are weather and climate related.

"Extreme climate and associated impacts such as floods, mud, and landslides, rain, drought, winds, and Tsunamis result in loss of life and property," the minister said.

He said there was need for early warning on climate to help communities and governments to make informed decisions.

"Proper use of climate information can help reduce risks to agriculture, food security, health, and loss of life among others," said the minister.

Some of the experts are drawn from Inter-Government Authority for Development (IGAD).

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