Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opens the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre
The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) was officially opened by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Ngong Town, near the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday, 27th October 2021. ICPAC is a designated regional climate centre by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide climate services and early warnings to 11 East African countries.
WMO’s association with ICPAC dates back to 1989 during the creation of Drought Monitoring Centre in Nairobi (DMC-N) and Drought Monitoring Centre in Harare (DMC-H). The centre has grown in leaps and bounds over the three decades and now plays (in partnership with the Member NMHSs) a critical role in assisting the region to mitigate against one of the top five global risks identified by the World Economic Forum in 2021, namely extreme weather events and climate action failure.
The criticality of a strategic institution such as ICPAC for East African subregion is expressed very well in the address of H. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta: “We live in uncertain times, increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa. Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change.”
The ICPAC establishment includes, a Disaster Operations Centre, with a situation room that will monitor major hazards and provide regional early warnings for drought, floods, extreme rainfall, food insecurity, or pests like the desert locust.
WMO welcomes the enormous support from IGAD Members States, the IGAD Secretariat, the Kenyan Government for the gracious hosting of this important regional centre. The success of this centre would not have been possible without the enormous work of the ICPAC Secretariat and cooperation with NMHSs in the IGAD region. ICPAC is arguably the most active regional climate centre (RCC) in Africa and will continue to inspire growth and development in the other RCCs.
The event was also attended by the Kenyan Ministers of Environment & Forestry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, IGAD Executive Secretary, AfDB Representative, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, WMO Representative and UNDP Resident Representative.