The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) has fired back at President John Mahama’s charge that the workers of the agency need to “sharpen their skills” in forecasting the weather.
President Mahama had given the charge during the 57th Independence Day parade at the Black Star Square. The heavy rains disrupted the march pass and the president and other dignitaries reported got wet from rain water dripping through the canopies.
But the Principal Meteorological Officer at the GMA, Muller Tsatsu Siameh told Adom News the agency has very skilful workers but they lack the necessary logistics and resources, as well as the motivation to deliver on their mandate.
The President also charged that the GMA was late in communicating the possible rain storm to the State Protocol.
But Siameh replied to that as well, saying that the GMA communicated it to the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) among other institutions around 3am but he cannot tell whether it was communicated on time to the presidency.
Siameh said GMA has, meanwhile, been operating for more than two months without weather surveillance radars, and that makes their work difficult.
“In the absence of these radars we use local observations to read the weather for the benefit of the aviation industry, farmers, fishermen and other clients,” he said.
He also noted that Government owes the forecasters at the agency accommodation allowances, night allowances and they don’t have vehicles to work.
“Since 1995 our accommodation allowances and others are still outstanding and that is not fair,” Siameh told Adom News.
He stated that due to the bad conditions of service and poor working environment, some of the skilful and experienced people on contract usually leave at their end of the first term on their contract. As a result, GMA currently has only four trained and experienced forecasters but they need 15.
“We are struggling to keep the system working - a lot of people have resigned from the agency due to the poor conditions of service and working environment,” Siameh lamented.