Extension of coastal forecasting system for port and fishing operations in Mozambique

Published: 15 March 2019

The area covered by the coastal forecasting system used in Mozambique will be extended soon in response to enthusiastic feedback from the end users. The system – which was developed in part by Deltares – currently produces forecasts for five coastal provinces. The new version will include several new districts in the Province of Inhambane. It will also send some automatic messages directly to fishermen community leaders via Telegram app.

Several public organisations in southeast Africa use similar forecasting systems. The software used in these forecasting systems – Delft-FEWS, Delft3D and SWAN – is free of charge.

Forecasting used in daily operations

Mozambique’s coastline is long –about 2,500 km – but the majority of the population is concentrated in a handful of medium-to-large coastal cities: Maputo, Beira, Quelimane, Nacala, and Pemba. The national coastal forecasting system covers these five major urban areas in detail and supports port operators and fishing communities (the Ministry of Sea and Fisheries) along the country’s coast. The authorities of the three largest ports in Maputo, Beira and Nacala are already using the forecasts in their daily operations. The system was jointly developed by INAM and Deltares, and the project includes extensive on-site capacity building by Deltares specialists.

Latest additional forecasts for Inhambane

INAM, Mozambique’s national meteorological institute, manages the national coastal forecasting system. They received positive feedback from end users during the first six months of operational forecasting. As a result, the National Directorate for Water Resources Management (DNGRH) asked for the system to be extended to include the Province of Inhambane, which is northeast of Maputo and home to over one million people. Coastal fisheries and tourism are major economic drivers here. The new system upgrade will also implement the functionality to send automatic messages directly to fishermen community leaders, via Telegram app.

Safer navigation

The system provides three-day ocean and meteorological forecasts in the form of daily forecast bulletins to enhance navigation safety. Forecasts include: wave height, period and direction; tide and surge water levels; wind speed and direction; cloud cover, precipitation, air temperature and air pressure.

workshop Mozambique

The bulletins were co-designed in several local workshops to ensure a clear and intuitive layout for all targeted end users. Bulletins are published in Portuguese and sent daily by email in a smartphone-friendly format. The technical assistance is provided by an international consortium led by the UK Meteorological Office, INAM and DNGRH. The work is financed by both the Nordic Development Fund and World Bank Group.