-22 OCTOBER, 1999
|A BRIEF ON THE MOUNT KENYA GLOBAL ATMOSPHERE WATCH (GAW) STATION|
The history of the establishment of a baseline station in Kenya started in 1977 when a series of feasibility studies were conducted on Mt. Kenya and adjacent mountain ranges. The most suitable location of such a station was chosen on Mt. Kenya. The next phase was to approach the International Community to assist in the establishment of the station. This came to a reality when the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) availed resources to establish six stations around the world, Mt. Kenya Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) station being one of them. The Mt. Kenya GAW station is a container-type structure built and instrumented at Fraunhofer-Institute for Atmospheric Environment Research (IFU), Garmish, Germany. This station located at the equator, 37° E and at an altitude of about 4000m has now been set up with all the necessary instruments installed and successfully tested.
The changing of the chemical composition of the atmosphere on a global scale has far reaching implications on health, environment, and the future of human society. This has led many nations to participate in accessing the current state and trends of the chemical state of the atmosphere. It is for this reason that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) started the GAW Programme in 1989.
The Programme was created with the sole objective of providing information about the atmospheric composition change through the measurement of chemical and physical properties of the atmosphere. The goal of the GAW programme is to monitor, on a long term basis, the changing composition of the atmospheric characteristics. Data from the GAW network has been used exclusively in activities such as the assessment of ozone depletion, climate change, and acid deposition. The GAW network consists of stations which, due to their remote locations from pollution sources and sinks, can provide the so called background data. These baseline stations form the only existing operational network which monitors atmospheric characteristics world-wide. In 1993 the WMO added another six global stations in the network in geographical regions of the world not represented before. Among these stations is the Kenya GAW station which is situated in the Mount Kenya National Park at an elevation of 4000 m. This is the only such station on the Equator.
The GAW stations were established under the organization and technical support of the WMO. However, the stations are the property of the host country. They are expected to carry out the goals of the GAW programme in conjunction with the goals and mission of the atmospheric monitoring in each country. The long term operation of a GAW station is expected to continue as long as the national authority is willing to support the station.
The establishment of the Kenya GAW station followed the signing of an agreement in September 1993 between WMO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Kenya Government. The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is the local lead agency. The project was executed by WMO with international funds provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank. The contribution was in form of a fully instrumented container-type station and expert training. Kenya's contribution guaranteed continuous operations of the station in future and included infrastructure such as provision of electricity, access road and staff, among others. For instance, the construction of a commercial power line to the station alone has cost Kenya Government Ksh.16 million. Kenya is committed to the full implementation of this station, and it is worth noting that this country is a signatory to the international conventions and treaties on climate change and environmental protection.
The station monitoring programme will focus on providing the first results on greenhouse gases and aerosols in Equatorial Africa, the effect of biomass burning on the regional build- up of tropospheric ozone, and discerning if any trends in stratospheric ozone are evident in Equatorial Africa. The station doubles as a global monitoring and research station. The benefits expected from this station relate to early warning in environmental and atmospheric degradation and enhanced capacity building for the Kenya's scientific community.
|This station is scheduled to be inaugurated on 22 October 1999. The ceremony will be in Nanyuki at Mt. Kenya Safari Club. A number of chief executives of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) have been invited to participate in this ceremony, namely, United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa, France, Switzerland, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia. Also invited are Secretary, East African Co-operation Secretariat, The World Meteorological Organisation and representatives of a number of foreign missions in Nairobi.|
|PROGRAMME OF EVENTS DURING THE INAUGURATION OF GAW STATION: 21-23 OCTOBER 1999|
(Note: The hours are local time)
Kenya Meteorological Department Headquarters
0900H -Arrival of visitors to the Department and pay a courtesy call to the Director
- Tour the Department1030H TEA/COFFEE at the IMTR Dining Hall.
1100H -"The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and the way forward" by Mr. E. A. Mukolwe, Director.
1110H - "Activities and services of DMC within the Eastern and Southern Africa region" by Mr. K. I. Essendi, Principal, IMTR.
1120H - "Kenya Meteorological Society (KMS) and its contribution towards advancing the science of Meteorology internationally and in Kenya in particular" by Prof. J. K. Ng’ang’a.
1130H - "Capabilities, Products and Challenges of the National Meteorological Centre (NMC)" by Mr. J. G. Wairoto, Assistant Director, Operations.
1140H - "Impact and Challenges of the Public Weather Services (PWS) in the Department" by S. W. Muchemi- SM (PWS).
1150H -Reaction from invited guests.
1230H LUNCH at the IMTR Dining Hall
1400H - Commissioning of the WMO Sub-regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa.
1500H - Journey to Nanyuki
The Mount Kenya Safari Club
– Mt. Kenya Safari Club
1030H - The Inauguration ceremony
1400H - Tour /Game Drive
The Lewis Glacier on Mt. Kenya
|0700H -Visit to the station
1200H -Back to Nairobi via some tourists sites in the Rift