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South Sudan witnesses signing of $ 10 million dollars climate project deal

By Charles K Mark

South Sudan government on Monday witnessed signing of $ 10 million dollar project for establishing a national early climate warning system for the country.

The five-year deal was signed between the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) and the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC).

Minister of Environment and Forestry Josephine Napwon Cosmas, who witnessed the signing, welcomed the initiative that is targeted to collect, analyse, and report data related to climate patterns.

“The Climate crisis is worsening in South Sudan; over 2,000,000 of our people are internally displaced due to flooding, droughts, excessive heat, heat waves, and haphazard rain patterns resulting in crop failure. Currently, over 60% of our people are now classified as food insecure.” Said Josephine Napwon.

The minister explained that to address these impacts of climate change, her Ministry developed the Second Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), and the first National Adaptation Plan (NAP) initiatives.

“Our NAPA identified 28 projects, and the establishment of an Early Warning System was one of them,” she said. “To turn strategies and plans into action, combat climate change, and enhance the resilience of our people.

According to Napwon, one of the components of this project is the establishment of an Early Warning System and the building of the Capacity of the Meteorological department, adding that the system would provide timely weather information and alert citizens of climate hazards such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and storms.

Participation in early warning networks, according to the UN matrix, can vary from informal phone calls or email exchanges to official communication in a standardized format.

For a well-functioning early warning mechanism, real-time communication is necessary to facilitate cooperation and information sharing.

This can be achieved through formal or informal channels, including dedicated virtual platforms, and requires close collaboration and trust among stakeholders and the establishment of protocols to deal with sensitive, confidential, and classified information.

On behalf of the UNDP, Titus Osundina, Deputy Country Resident Representative, said the initiative is possible because of the collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the South Sudan Meteorological Department, the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), and the UNDP.

“The challenges posed by climate change are far-reaching and demand our immediate attention. South Sudan, a nation already burdened with numerous economic and humanitarian crises, bears the brunt of these challenges: prolonged drought, erratic rainfall, and extreme weather.” Said the Osundina.

He added that the early warning system will strengthen South Sudan’s Capacity to accurately focus on weather and climate patterns.

According to ICPAC programme coordinator Dr. Ahmed Amdihun, the early warning system for South Sudan is a model of systems that have been serving East African Countries.

The five-year project is expected to be established in Central Equatoria State and Eastern Equatoria State and later in the rest of South Sudan.



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