ILOILO CITY: When Yolanda crossed Western Visayas on November 13, 2013, the agricultural sector of the municipality of Batad in the province of Iloilo was heavily affected, with hectares upon hectares of corn and rice fields blown away by the typhoon’s massive winds.
Hence, alongside post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts being undertaken in Batad, the town is also a beneficiary of weather monitoring equipment courtesy of the Panay Rural Development Center Inc. (PRDCI) as part of its ReBUILD Batad project for sustainable development in the aftermath of Yolanda.
Recently, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Ma. Theresa Sayat said the town also acquired a solar-powered weather station through PRDCI. The equipment includes a solar panel, a Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station and a power inverter.The weather station effectively tracks humidity, temperature, barometric pressure and other weather indicators. Radical changes in each indicator are analyzed and monitored to create accurate weather forecasts.
Sayat said that the municipality and the PRDCI maintains a bulletin board in the municipal hall that is updated every 10 days with data from the weather station. This is to inform townsfolk, especially farmers and fisher folk, of anticipated weather disturbances so that they can plan their activities ahead of time.
In addition, PRDCI Livelihood Facilitator Maria Sunshine Artisal said that the non-government organization also donated a 144-mhz FM transceiver which allows the personnel behind the weather station to directly contact barangays in the event of emergencies. She added that all the 25 barangays of the municipality have transceivers.