The Twelfth Kenya Meteorological Society International Conference was officially opened on 11th November 2015 by H.E. Hon. Jack Ranguma, Governor, County Government of Kisumu.
In his speech, Hon Ranguma underscored the importance of the Conference and reiterated that it accorded eminent scientists and stakeholders an opportunity to share their research findings and provide possible solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing the society. He challenged scientific and research institutions to effectively and efficiently disseminate the necessary climate change information so as to inform policies that are beneficial not only to Kenyans but the rest of human kind. He noted that even though the Constitution of Kenya accords professional organizations a crucial role to play in the socio-economic well being of the country, their participation in the application of scientific knowledge is still very limited in spite of the available numerous research findings and recommendations. He lauded the close cooperation among scientists in the field of weather and climate. He emphasized that the time to take action to mitigate against the effects of severe weather events and disasters associated with climate change is now. Hon. Ranguma observed that early warnings of climate/weather events such as the ongoing rains associated with El-Niño assists policy makers in planning for the impacts as well as preparing the public to cope with the impacts. Hon. Ranguma commended the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) for the accurate and timely issuance of early warning of seasonal rainfall, which enabled the Government to put in place mechanisms to assist the public cope with the effects of excess rainfall. He concluded by thanking the sponsors for their support without which the Conference would not have taken place. He challenged the KMS to take up the responsibility of ensuring and demonstrating that the good gesture by the partners is put to good use.
Roselyn Ojala, representing the Director of KMD and Permanent Representative of Kenya with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) who is also the Patron of KMS highlighted the role of KMD in the socio-economic development of Kenya emphasizing on the critical role of the KMS Society in enhancing and making more visible the activities of the Department at County Level
Stella Aura, MBS, thanked H.E. Hon Ranguma for taking time to officiate at the opening of the Conference. She acknowledged the presence of the guests and participants and assured them that the Conference would be interactive and that the recommendations would be implemented. She reiterated the relevance of the Conference taking place in Kisumu in the middle of the short-rains season. Issues of climate change are pertinent and cut across all sectors with implications for socio-economic development of any County. She noted that the Conference had come at the right time when Counties were developing County specific weather and climate mitigation strategies which would be useful during this El Nino period and also in the future.
She encouraged participants to actively participate in the discussions to ensure the Conference objectives were met in an effort to improve the science of meteorology. Finally, she wished the participants fruitful deliberations.