SLMeT’s DDG, Gabriel Kpaka SLMA’s Director of Marine Safety, Ibrahim Wurie
By Ishmail Saidu Kanu
The Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency (SLMeT) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) on Thursday 4th August, 2022 commenced a three-day training on Strengthening Sierra Leone’s Coastal Guard Communication for Early Warning Services dissemination through VHF Radios.
The training which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is ongoing at SLMA’sConference Room, Government Wharf in Freetown, and will be completed on Saturday 6th August, 2022, followed by presentation of marine VHF Radios by UNDP to SLMeT and SLMA.
Participants include the media, Maritime and SLMET officials, etc. As part of their core mandate which is to safeguard lives through sea worthiness efforts, the training is expected to help officials of both institutions to build resilience in Early Warning information dissemination especially across the marine sector within Sierra Leone.
SLMET’s Deputy Director-General, Gabriel Kpaka said the training is funded by the UNDP under the Coastal project. “The training which is conducted in various form is conducted by SLMET and SLMA”, he said.
He continued: “Climate change and seas level rise affect the coast. One of the components of the project is to install a marine weather station. The training is to strengthen search and rescue communications.”
“When I joined SLMET some 12 years ago, we only had two weather stations, but with UNDP’s support, we can now boast of over 60 weather stations. I want to thank the UNDP for their support.”
DDG Kpaka described the training as very important. “People are going to get the needed skills and information in search and rescue. I want all the participants to take the exercise seriously”, he ended.
Addressing the gathering, SLMA’s Director of Maritime Safety and Security, Ibrahim Wurie said the core competence of SLMA is to protect life and property as well as the marine environment.
“SLMA needs the intervention of other partners for effective service delivery. The training is very important and cannot be achieved without the support of SLMET. The search and rescue we are conducting all over the country is part of our humanitarian effort”, he noted.
He said the training is going to have a positive impact on their work, pointing out that it’s their duty to continue to save life and property. He appreciated SLMET and UNDP. “Our aim is to rescue people within 30 minutes”.
Day one’s topics include SLMet at a Glance and status with respect to Marine Meteorology, SLMA at a Glance and status with respect to the marine environment, marine meteorology, and search and rescue communication.
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