The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has launched a four-year project that looks to decrease the vulnerability of Kenyan, Rwandese and Tanzanian societies to hazards brought about by climate change, extreme weather and poor air quality.
The Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI) project is funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and will improve weather, early warning and air quality services in the East African region. This will be at both a national and community level.
The project will work with local sister organizations in Kenya (Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD)), Rwanda (Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and Rwanda Meteorology Agency (Meteo Rwanda)), and Tanzania (Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA)), as well as national Red Cross societies.
FMI will automate weather and early warning services by installing an open-source SmartMet forecasting tool in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. In addition to national developments, the countries will collaborate through daily virtual briefings for severe weather forecasting to reach agreement on the weather warnings to be shared on a map-based warning platform for the region.
The ICI project will also increase the capacity of sister institutions in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania to model and monitor weather and air quality. For example, the FMI-developed open-source SILAM air quality model will be benchmarked by the institutes and installed operationally in Rwanda. A pilot in-situ sensor network will also be installed in each country.