Sierra Leone: Director Calls for Transformation of Meteorological Department
By Stephen V. Lansana
Acting Director of Meteorological department, Ibrahim S. Kamara said that transforming Meteorological department into an agency will help to boost the revenue of Sierra Leone because the monies will be paid through National Revenue Authority.
Kamara disclosed to Premier News on Tuesday May 9th, 2017 that the country is losing a lot of revenue because of the current state of the department.
He disclosed that any aircraft that uses the country’s airspace is supposed to pay revenue to the government, but the aircrafts are not paying anything to the government because of lack of adequate meteorological instrumentation in the country that could take record of it. “Presently, aircrafts are using our air space for free,” he disclosed.
He said that the minister of Transportation and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma has already signed the Meteorological bill and the bill is presently gazetted.
He called on the minister to continue his good work by fast tracking the transformation of the department into an agency. He said that the minister should hasten with the process so that the bill will be tabled in the House of Parliament.
Kamara praised that minister for his effort towards the transformation. He said if the minister succeeds in ensuring that the department is transformed into an agency, so that it will be his own legacy, it will be among the best achievements that the minister has made during his tenure. “It will bring laurel for him,” Kamara emphasized.
He stated that they have had many ministers in the past but none of them thought of transforming the department.
He pointed out that turning meteorological department into an agency will be beneficial for the government, youths and even former staff of the department.
Kamara said that the transformation is in line with President Koroma’s Ebola Recovery Prioritizes and the Agenda for Prosperity for youths as it will create job facility for over 200 youths across the country.
In highlighting the facilities that the office will have if it is transformed into an agency, he said the department will employ more workers across the country, satisfactory salary structure, medical allowance, leave allowance and so on, adding that this will motivate youths to apply for employment at the department.
Kamara said the department needs Medical Weather Production models; radar and human resource in other to enhance its efficiency, but the instruments are not available. “I believe with the transformation of department, we will no longer have any logistical constraints,” Acting Director said.
He said they cannot determine the intensity of the weather, that is, whether it will be heavy, moderate or light; and the time of a particular weather occur. “We can able to provide a weather forecast of a particular place and time, but we cannot tell the intensity of which it will happen because we don’t have the required instrument.” He added that radar will help to provide the intensity.
He said a seasonal forecast involves a lot of things, which includes but not limited to ocean buoys, radar and many others.
He disclosed that there is no radar in the country at the moment, but he said that he is confident that the transformation of the department will bring many facilities.
Kamara pointed out that the need staffs in each of the weather stations in the country, but young people and other qualified Sierra Leoneans are not applying for an employment at the department because there is not much facilities that could attract them.