By Justin Kayiranga
The government of Rwanda, on Thursday September 14, 2023, has inaugurated a cutting-edge calibration laboratory for meteorology, hydrology, and air quality installed in Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) through a project entitled “Building the capacity of Rwanda’s government to advance the National Adaptation Planning process”
The laboratory is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on September 20, 2022, between REMA, Rwanda Meteorology Agency, Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB), and Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), with the objective of supporting the establishment of a Calibration Centre for instruments related to the measurement of Meteorological, Hydrological and Air Quality Monitoring parameters to ensure the accuracy of data for better planning in all sectors of the economy.
Aimable Gahigi, the Director General of Rwanda Meteorology Agency, highly appreciated the establishment of this calibration center as it brings solutions to the challenges this institution was facing including the time the used for testing of weather measuring instruments which would take around three months.
He said “We would send materials outside of Rwanda for testing and it took a lot of time, but this lab will do it in less than three days. Another advantage is that this lab has the ability to find these materials on site and test them.
Gahigi also added that, thanks to this lab, “We are expecting an increase of percentage for our weather forecast accuracy.”
Among other benefits brought by this calibration center include the service to Rwanda’s climate agenda for adaptation and mitigation by providing accurate information that can serve to enhanced climate action transparency, as explained by Faustin Munyazikwiye, the Deputy Director General of REMA.
“Currently, we have about 22 air quality monitoring stations established in different parts of the country. So, this calibration center will help us get the accurate measurements, which will be the basis for exchanging ideas on the measures to be taken by the government.”
In East African region, calibration center, same as this, could be only found in Kenya. However, Raymond Murenzi of RSB said that this calibration center of Rwanda has more technology than the one of Kenya based on their equipment capacity.
“The machines/equipment we have are modern and provide reliable measurements which will enable us to offer testing services on regional level. Our target is to become a reference hub for testing and measurement related services so as to build our trust on international level.”
In her remarks, while officiating this center, Dr. Claudine UWERA, the state minister for Environment urged the concerned institutions to keep and use these instruments for their regular verification and calibration to ensure the accuracy and quality of the data collected.
“Let’s build on this good practice and integrate climate related considerations in various development sectors, beyond the Environment and natural resources sector. In that way, we can sustainably enhance resilience within our systems and our communities.” Said the minister.
This calibration center, worth Rwf 500 million, was established under REMA’s project with support from Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).