Due to heavy seasonal rain falls within the last months, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone have been affected by floods. Overall more than 300,000 people have been impacted and 39 casualties reported.
A joint project between DigitalGlobe and many volunteers has helped in the eradication of polio through mapping of villages in developing countries during vaccination campaigns. The mapping of the often isolated settlements was complicated and apart from analysing big data captured by satellites, DigitalGlobe had to rely on volunteers and crowdsourcing based on the Tomnod programme. The final result is a map covering 285,103 villages in Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office, conducted a flood forecasting training in Uganda from 7 to 10 July and a technical training to support the National SpatialData Infrastructure (NSDI) in Zambia from 8 to 11 July.
Nigeria plans to develop, manufacture and launch its own satellite by 2030, according to Dr. Spencer Onu, the Center for Satellite Technology Development’s (CSTD) Director. He also added that the components needed for building the space artifact are presently being developed.
UN-SPIDER and its team of experts carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Zambia from 26 to 30 May 2014. The TAM was conducted upon invitation of the Office of the Vice-President, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).
The team met with about 15 key stakeholder agencies in the country including the Survey Department, the Meteorological Service or the National Remote Sensing Centre. The experts took stock of issues such as policy gaps, availability of satellitedata and geospatial information for all relevant institutions, the current use of space-based information in the country, and data sharing practice. The team also looked at challenges and constraints, existing capacity and further training needs, established institutional linkages and ways to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergencyresponse at the country level.
As a first follow up of the TAM, information was shared on data collection and very high resolution data acquisition options, seeing the high interest of the host institutions to work immediately on the implementation of the agreed recommendations. Meetings were also extended to various UN agencies with disaster-management responsibilities locally, and presentations on best practices were made at a workshop at the end of the mission.
A one-day workshop introduced participants to the potential of space-based technologies for disaster management and to best practices, and looked at options to improve their usage in Zambia.
Zambia is in many ways advanced in its use of technology and its ability to use geospatial data. Its main needs are to set up a national spatial data infrastructure, to expand data-sharing, and to obtain access to regular Earth observations and high-resolution data from public and commercial sources.
To build capacity for remote sensing and the geographic information system and raise awareness, making optimal use of low-cost approaches and free data sources, applications, technologies and services;
To set up a fire warning system, recruit more fire watch staff and acquire more fire watch facilities and modelling tools;
To collect specific upper atmospheric data and models;