Maldives: green light to the expansion of the national meteorological monitoring network with 25 new stations and control centers
As part of the cooperation between the Ministry of the Environment for the Protection of Land and Sea of the Italian Republic and the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Republic of the Maldives, in December 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding regarding climate change, vulnerability, risk management, adaptation and mitigation was signed.
As a matter of fact, the Maldives are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, especially during the South-West monsoon season, because of their geoclimatic conditions, and these risks clearly affect the profile of physical and socioeconomic vulnerability of the country. Extreme events, including sudden flooding, long periods of drought, high waves, rough seas, hurricanes, tornadoes and strong winds, will become more frequent due to the increase in frequency and intensity of climate change, and will negatively affect all major sectors of the national economy.
Because of all these phenomena, it is therefore of primary importance to strengthen real-time monitoring of meteorological conditions, by creating an efficient network of stations that act as an Early Warning System. Thanks to this modern and timely technology it is possible to alert the population and transmit the latest information available on climate and on possible natural disasters, in order to save human lives and minimize any damages in case of environmental disasters.
With these premises and thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Italy and the Maldives, a new project has been approved and submitted to tender. The name of the Project is "Supply and Installation of Specialized Equipment and Related Services - Enhancing weather and climate monitoring and data management capacity of MMS (Maldives Meteorological Service) for reducing vulnerabilities of climate change in the Maldives – Project: Supply and Installation of 25 Automatic Weather Stations".
The aim of this project is to expand the already existing real-time meteorological monitoring network of the Maldives with new data collection stations, distributed in remote areas of the territory, in order to implement a prompt pre-warning action, alert the population and prevent catastrophes.
CAE won the tender and signed the contract on December, 4th, 2017, during a ceremony attended by the vice-president of CAE, Mr. Giancarlo Maria Pedrini, the Minister of Environment and Energy of the Maldives, Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim, and the Chief Executive of the Maldives Meteorological Service, Mr. Abdulla Wahid.
The project CAE is about to implement consists in the "turnkey" supply of 25 new weather stations, located in the various islands and in the airports which are about to be built in the Maldives. These stations will use the MHAS technology and each of them will be equipped with sensors in order to measure wind speed and direction, rainfall intensity and quantity, atmospheric pressure, air temperature and humidity. Through the GPRS communication system, each station will send the collected data in real time to the new control and management centers, located at the Maldives Meteorological Service in Malé. Thanks to a system of solar panels that recharge the battery supplying energy to the installed stations, which will be equipped with a power supply independent from the main electric system, the environmental impact will be minimized; moreover, the needs of the local population and the problems related to the lack of space, which are typical of these small islands, will be taken into account. In addition, in order to be able to view and analyse the collected weather data, CAE will provide not only the software to be used on the server and on new workstations, but also the tools for managing these data "on the go", which is to say apps for tablets and a website.
The project will be integrated with both field and classroom specific training activities addressed to the personnel of the Maldives Meteorological Service. The training will focus on: the functioning of the system as a whole and of its individual components, the use of the management and display software of the data collected by the centers, and the maintenance activities necessary to preserve the optimal functioning of the entire system.