By Namugerwa Martha
Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled an “Innovations Challenge/Hackathon” for young professionals from Uganda and beyond at the United Nations headquarters in Kampala today, aimed at coming up with an app which will be used to share weather information with the public.
Onesimus Muhwezi the team leader of environment at UNDP said that the hackathon is organized to stimulate weather and climate information for planning and developing innovative solutions for converting the available weather and climate data into useful weather and climate information and solutions that will facilitate efficient dissemination of weather and climate information to the end users.
Muhwezi said that climate change is a reality and having the right weather information is the key to fighting it.
“Five groups of tech savvy young people are going to come up with a simplified app that will help share weather information with the public instantly or climate changes to avoid natural disasters live heavy rains and prolonged drought,” Muhwezi said.
He added that Climate change and climate variability have presented a number of challenges for both commercial and small-holder farmers throughout Uganda, including access to reliable weather and climate information for planning and production processes.
“UNMA has two refurbished weather stations & now it gets high quality weather information, however we need to make sure that this information is simplified so that our mothers in the village can use it to plan therefore I am glad to be working with young innovators to simplify weather information for the public,” Muhwezi added.
Additionally, Mr. Festus Luboyera the executive director of UNMA urged the participants to be bold and come up with something that can change the way things are done to share weather information.
“I believe that through the innovations you young people come up with, we’ll be able to use our weather information well,” Luboyera said.
The award event will be on the 14th June, 2017 in Kampala, and all the hackers who will are going to participate in the prototyping workshop will be awarded a certificate of participation whereas the top three winning teams will receive prizes up to shs3 Million.