July 8, 2015
Signatories exchanging grant agreement at the ceremony
Islamabad; 8 July, 2015: The government of Japan will replace the weather surveillance radar in Karachi with a grant of 1.95 billion Yen (approx. 1.6 billion PKR). For this purpose, His Excellency, Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan signed and exchanged notes with Mr. Muhammad Saleem Sethi, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) today. A grant agreement on the details of implementation of the project was also signed between Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief Representative of JICA and Mr. Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Joint Secretary of EAD.
Four (Islamabad, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan and Rahimyar Khan) out of seven meteorological radar systems in Pakistan were established under the grant aid of Japan. These four radars observe the precipitation of about 80% of the country. Among them, the existing Karachi radar system established in 1991 has played an important role in monitoring meteorological phenomena in the southern area and tropical cyclones which are formed over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
However, over passage of time and despite maintenance, the installed radars are losing their relevance to modern technology. In the wake of these imminent challenges, it is pertinent to shift from this analogue system to a modern digital Doppler mode radar. The new radar will have a 450 km radius of information processing for consumption of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). This will help the PMD to monitor the movement and development of severe weather systems to prepare more accurate and timely weather forecast and warning coastal areas in Sindh and Balochistan. Forecast for international shipping and aircrafts' traffic will also be improved. The Doppler mode is essential in achieving more accurate forecasting and longer forecast prediction times.
This Project is the first priority of the National Multi Hazard Early Warning System Plan which was a part of the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) formulated through Japan's assistance in 2012. In accordance with the NDMP, Japan has been extending various assistances such as replacement of the meteorological radar in Islamabad and installation of the Flood Forecasting System in collaboration with UNESCO. The Project agreed on today is expected to have synergies with these on-going and completed projects assisted by Japan.
At the signing ceremony, H.E Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan expressed his hope that this project contributes to protecting more lives and properties from future natural disasters. He also said, "Japan will continue to work together with Pakistan to make this country disaster-resilient, making good use of experience and expertise Japan has gained from many disasters in the past."
Mr. Kawasaki while commenting on the significance of the project said "Since Japan also has faced persistent natural disasters and overcome it in our long history, Japan should lead and strengthen disaster management in the world based on our knowledge and experience as well as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which is one of the fruit of the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction".
The Government of Japan committed in November 2013 that it would provide 1.6 trillion Yen (approximately 16 billion USD or Rs.1.4 trillion PKR) of public and private finance over a period of three years from 2013 to 2015 to developing countries, which include Pakistan, to counter climate change. The project agreed on today form a part of this commitment.