By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Nigerian government has launched a new weather app: ‘Wetin App’ to help tame flood problems in the country particularly along the Benue and Niger river basins, the country’s two main rivers where over-flooding has caused loss of lives and extensive damages to farmlands and other properties.
In 2012, the floods from the two rivers destroyed farms and rendered millions homeless.
The challenges can be addressed with early warnings and quick, rapid responses aided by soft tools such as the ‘Wetin App,’ the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced recently in Abuja during the formal launch of the mobile application.
The app which is available for download on Googleplay Store is a joint project between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, represented by the Director of Agricultural Businesses, Processing and Marketing ,Alh. Azeez M. Olumuyiwasaid Nigeria sought the help of the international agency to develop the mobile application following the destructive flood of 2012 which resulted inthe huge destruction of farms, houses and human lives.
Ahmedsaid: “the country had decided to turn that bitter experience into a blessing by looking at the various ways farmers and government could take advantage of the technology.”
The Regional Director for Africa at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Professor Timothy Olalekan Williams, said “the application was developed using data from the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency andsatellite data.”