After more than 30 years of experience as an Advanced Meteorological Forecaster in his home country of Ethiopia, Gadissa Abagaro Waqjira joined UNMIS in May 2007 to establish a Meteorological Cell in the Aviation Section.
UNMIS flies to 23 landing sites throughout Sudan, using about 40 aircraft. Landing and take-off data, including accurate meteorological forecasts and weather information are critical for all flights.
"It was necessary to establish good communication linkages between the Sudan Meteorological Authority and UNMIS in order to provide official weather information in support of pilots and other aeronautical personnel who carry out the mission's operations," says Gadissa. "I was one of the team members of Aviation specialists who established this system," he adds.
Besides serving as a link between UNMIS and his Sudanese counterparts, Gadissa has been involved in installing meteorological instruments at different regional airports and airfields where UNMIS is operating and where meteorological resources were lacking. This enabled UNMIS to improve the weather data provision and enhance safety of its flights.
"Throughout my assignment, the challenges I have experienced are many. I work six days a week and must maintain the quality of my work throughout. The collection of different weather data, conducting analysis and presenting it to users every day makes the quantity of the work overwhelming."
Despite the volume of his work and the pressure under which UNMIS at times operates, Gadissa is eager to accept additional duties, like delivering training sessions in aviation courses, inspecting weather stations at UNMIS-operated landing sites and participating in his spare time in activities of the Sudanese Meteorological Society.
UNMIS Aviation Section relies on support of the 13 international specialists serving as UNV volunteers to run its air operations countrywide.