According to a recent article published by Reuters, the World Bank is working with other development finance institutions to raise some $500 million to modernise weather and flood forecasting services in Africa. Why is this such a priority? According to World Meteorological Organization figures, 90% of natural disasters in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade were climate or weather-related. More recently, flooding has devastated some southern African countries such as Malawi and Mozambique, both of which have suffered severe damage to homes, crops, and infrastructure, not to mention the loss of hundreds of lives.
The aftermath of the floods does not look promising either. Fears of cholera outbreaks along with malaria are very real. Without shelter, or clean water, mosquitoes multiply. And as Mandinda Zungu, Programs Coordinator for Catholic Development Commission in Malawi reports to BBC News, cholera can be described as “a ticking time bomb: ‘Because pipes are blocked or destroyed, clean water supplies are cut off," she explains. ‘People are bathing in streams then drinking the same water further down. They are going to the toilet in fields, which, when it rains, spreads into the rivers.”
Thus the need for more investing in advanced weather forecasting services can be rationalized: “Globally, investment in hydro-meteorological services could lead to a realization of up to $30 billion per year in increased economic productivity and cut losses from disasters by up to $2 billion.” - Disaster risk specialist Daniel Kull, World Bank, Reuters