The Malawi Met Society is once again calling upon workplace and climate monitoring specialist, Casella Monitor (www.casellameasurement.com; 01234 844100), for automatic weather stations and hydro rainfall loggers.
Also known as the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, the Malawi government department currently uses around 27 Casella Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs), as well as two portable Nomad units and more than 60 Casella Hydro Rainfall loggers with tipping bucket rain gauges attached.
Part of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, the Department’s increasing involvement in climate change and gathering environmental data, as well as its on-going crop insurance programme against drought, has led it to place an order to add to the number of Casella units currently in use.
Head of the Engineering Division of the Department of Climate Change and Met Services, Rodrick G Walusa, says: “We have been using Casella equipment for many years and during that time the brand has maintained its historic reputation for manufacturing and supplying durable products.”
He continues: “We wanted AWSs that would be used for all meteorological purposes ranging from aviation to agriculture, and that could be left to operate with very little human intervention or regular maintenance.”
Currently, the units are used at airports, climatological and agrometeorological stations to monitor weather and climate. The data is also used for micro weather insurance for farmers.
The hydro loggers collect and automatically transmit rainfall data from remote areas to the National Met Centre using GPRS communication. They are installed at various stations across Malawi, some of which are very remote and where there is no weather observer to collect data on a daily basis.
Rodrick G Walusa says: “The units have all been easy to set up and, when we have needed assistance from Casella, they have always been quick to respond to our requests. They are also open to suggestions and, following liaison between us, they were able to develop wind equipment for us that transmits data by radio from the airport runway thresholds to a display in the control tower almost four kilometers away.”
In addition to the AWSs, Malawi also uses the portable Nomads at VVIP functions. This allows them to cover presidential engagements in rural areas when the president travels by helicopter. The equipment can be assembled within a few minutes and enables the Department to provide services to pilots that some years ago were only provided at major airports.
Most of Casella’s units have been purchased as a result of donor funding through the likes of the World Bank and DIFID. However, the recent order for four AWSs and two Nomads will be funded by the Malawi Government.
Casella Measurement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDEAL Industries Inc, comprises Casella Monitor, which manufactures ambient gas analysers and pollution monitoring systems, and Casella CEL, producers of industrial hygiene, occupational health and monitoring equipment.