Tuesday June 06, 2023

More Japanese grant to strengthen weather forecasting

By Our Correspondent
March 21, 2023

Islamabad: The government of Japan decided to increase the amount of a grant aid for “the Project for Installation of Weather Surveillance Radar in Multan” from 2.042 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to around $14.99 million) to 2.8 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to around $20.57 million).

The original Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between the two governments on 31 August 2018. In response to the request of Pakistan, Japan decided to provide an additional amount of 760 million Japanese Yen (equivalent to around $5.58 million) for this project. The notes for the provision of the additional amount were signed and exchanged between ITO Takeshi, Charge d’ Affaires ad interim of Japan, and Dr. Kazim Niaz, secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Pakistan is prone to natural disasters such as floods and landslides caused by heavy torrential rains, tropical cyclones, and earthquakes. This results in heavy damage, particularly, due to floods triggered by monsoon rains. The Japanese government has been assisting Pakistan proactively, in the enhancement of weather surveillance capacity since the 1980s, in order to mitigate the damage by floods. Including the additional amount pledged today, the total amount of Japanese assistance for weather surveillance radars in Pakistan has reached about 11.3 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to around $82.9 million).

So far, Japan has supported the installation of six weather radars in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan (ongoing), and Sukkur (ongoing) and will cover 80% of the country and benefit 90% of the whole population. The weather radar network will surely contribute to further strengthening the weather forecasting capability in Pakistan and help Pakistan become more resilient to future natural disasters.

In the signing ceremony, ITO stated, "This project will enhance PMD’s capabilities, it will be able to disseminate information and deliver more accurate weather forecast, it will be able to send out warnings to protect life and properties of the people in Pakistan.