24 February 2016, Kigali, Rwanda – Within the framework of the 42nd Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum, UNOSAT and IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) successfully hosted a one-day national level technical workshop on flood and drought management.
The workshop was delivered as part of the project “Capacity Development in Geospatial Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Horn of Africa”, which aims at supporting the establishment of a geospatial decision support system to manage flood and drought risk in the region. The project was implemented by UNOSAT in collaboration with IGAD, and made possible with the generous contribution of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This workshop was developed to help ICPAC Member States familiarise themselves with the products developed together with UNOSAT. These products include an online geoportal for accessing and sharing relevant geospatial information, a flood hazard map for the region, and a live web-map to monitor climate and related hazards including impacts from the El Niño phenomenon.
During the workshop, participants were invited to present their countries’ experiences in flood and drought management as well as challenges and needs for further improvements. They were also introduced to the Flood-FINDER initiative, a flood forecasting system developed by UNITAR-UNOSAT in collaboration with CIMA Foundation, USGS and CERN. They learned about the geospatial services and support available at regional level and how these can be downscaled to fit country-specific needs. 90% of participants were satisfied and stated that overall, the workshop was useful to them: "this initiative is good and I would like to encourage the organisers to enhance their efforts to make more such activities". One participant highlighted that “the workshop was very specific and relevant to the topic that was discussed.”
There was exchange of information between ICPAC Member States and the UNOSAT-ICPAC team benefitting both participants and organisers. Member States discussed on the gaps and evolving needs of their countries and the steps needed to improve the individual countries’ flood and drought management future activities. Through its regional liaison office in Nairobi, UNOSAT will continue working closely with IGAD to develop geospatial products that address the evolving needs of Member States.