Climate Information and Early Warning Systems (CIEWS)

Project Title: Strengthening climate information and early warning systems for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change in Zambia.

Project Objective: The Climate Information and Early Warning Systems project aims to 'Strengthen climate monitoring and weather forecasting capabilities, early warning systems for adverse weather events, and availability information for responding to climate shocks and planning adaptation to climate change in Zambia.

Background: Zambia is working to reduce its vulnerability to climate change, natural and man-made disasters, and environmental degradation. Various parts of Zambia are prone to floods and droughts, which are expected to increase in frequency and severity as a result of climate change. At present, the meteorological observation network in Zambia is limited in its capability to produce the required climate information to support risk management in the short or long term.

To increase Zambia's ability to adapt to climate change, it will be necessary to improve the production of climate information and to facilitate monitoring and prediction of slow-onset hazards such as drought and rising temperatures, as well as rapid-onset hazards such as floods. This information must  be disseminated to end users by means of suitable Early Warning Systems (EWS).

This project aims to increase the geographic coverage of the Meteorological observation network in Zambia and activate communication channels for disseminating severe weather warnings, as well as to implement two-way community based early warning systems in three-flood and drought-prone districts, namely Gwembe, Mambwe and Sesheke.

Project intended outcomes:

  • Enhanced capacity of the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) to monitor and forecast extreme weather and climate change.
  • Efficient and effective use of hydrometeorological and environmental information for making early warnings and long-term development plans.
Intended benefits to users of weather and climate information
  • A larger network of weather observation stations will enhance accuracy of weather forecasts.
  • Farmers will receive sufficient advance notice of adverse weather and advice on how to prevent or minimise damage to their crops. Farmers will also be able to communicate their own observations to ZMD and DMMU.
  • Weather and climate information shall be tailored to specific sectors:- agriculture, aviation, water, health, tourism, energy, road and rail transport.
  • Long-term climate forecasting will support development planning, particularly for the climate-sensitive sectors.