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Participants in the 7th Africa Working Group Meeting (Image: UNISDR)

The 7th Africa Working Group Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction that was celebrated from 21 to 22 July, followed by the 4th High Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction on 23 July, has been the starting point for the implementation the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa.

Representatives from the majority of African countries, the African Union, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and a host of other international organizations have sat together for three days of talks in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The aim of this meeting was to compare the existing disaster risk reduction programmes in Africa with the Sendai Framework and try to narrow the gap between them.

“We are now at a stage where our efforts are concentrating on paving the road for effective implementation of the Sendai Framework on the continent in the next 15 years. This is... read more

Publishing Date: 23/07/2015
Extract from ALSAT-2A image of Benabdelmalek Ramdane in Mostaganem Province, Algeria (Image: ASAL)

ALSAT-2A, the optical Earth observation satellite of the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER, reached five years in orbit on July 12.

After these successful five years, it will continue developing observation activities, providing panchromatic images with 2,5m resolution and multispectral images with 10m resolution.

Since the launch of ALSAT-2A in 2010 on a PSLV launcher (PSLV-C15... read more

Publishing Date: 22/07/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Representatives of 12 institutions together to support NSDI (Image: RCMRD)

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 Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) in Zambia from 8 to 11 July.

During the flood forecasting training in Uganda, RCMRD collaborated with the Directorate of Water Resource Management from the Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda and other stakeholders to develop and implement CREST (Coupled Routing and Excess Storage) in different areas in Uganda with the support of the SERVIR program.

The workshop addressed issues concerning requirements and implementation of the... read more

Publishing Date: 22/07/2015
Artistic representation of the Meteosat Third Generation (Image: ESA)

Arianespace will be in charge of the first launch services for the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) series of geostationary satellites after the signature of a contract with EUMETSAT.

The agreement has been signed few days following the successful launch of MSG-4. It has fixed the launches of MTG-I1 and MTG-S1 and proposed the option of MTG-I2 for the time period 2019-2023.

Arianespace will use the Ariane 5 ECA launchers placed in the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to set into space the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) program.  It will significantly improve the services of forecasting high impact weather over Europe and Africa, currently delivered by the Meteosat Second... read more

Publishing Date: 21/07/2015
The Niger delta (Image:ESA)

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.

However, he also admitted that Nigeria still suffers from shortages in the application of space technology, specifically from the lack of space education in the country’s academic curricula: “Only Nigerian university has aerospace engineering—their program has been approved by the Council but has not yet started. Kogi State Polytechnic also had its own approved curriculum, but that department is yet to be initiated.”

Professor Mohammed Sheidu, the Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), is confident in Nigeria’s capacity to build the satellite: “The Center's engineers... read more

Publishing Date: 29/06/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Group photo of the workshop's participants (Image: RCMRD)

On Thursday June 4th a one-day workshop on the “Use of Modis Data for Early Warning, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Environmental Monitoring” was held in Kasarani (Nairobi) by the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Kenya.

The... read more

Publishing Date: 10/06/2015
Approximately 30 experts participated in the workshop and training (Image: IWMI)

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Sri Lanka, the International Water Management Institute IWMI, conducted a training on "Earth Observation Technologies for Flood-risk Mapping and Forecast Rating Curve for Flood Recession Agriculture in Nigeria". At the same occasion, the participants were briefed on the findings of a recent research project on "Turning tragedy into an opportunity: water management solutions for flood recession and dry season agriculture in Nigeria” supported by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). The workshop and training took place from 5 to 7 May 2015 and were organized jointly by IWMI, FMARD and UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nigeria, NASRDA.

Approximately 30 experts participated in the event and were trained on the use of space... read more

Publishing Date: 27/05/2015
Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden from the International Space Station (Image: NASA)

In recent years, many African countries have started using the potential and usefulness of space technology more and more, as an article in The Conversation points out. In sub-Saharan Africa, these are mostly Nigeria and South Africa.

Nigeria used Earth observation satellites in the past to monitor its oil-rich areas, elections or to fight against extremist groups such as Boko Haram. The largest Space Agency in Southern Africa (SANSA) frequently provides disaster monitoring and post-disaster assessment for South Africa and the region: fires and floods are the most common... read more

Publishing Date: 12/05/2015
All african countries are covered in the first complete satellite imagery base map of the continent. (Image: NASA)

DigitalGlobe announced on 28 April 28 the first complete and consistent high resolution satellite imagery base map for Africa. The map is unique through its high level of detail: a 50 cm ground resolution for all countries in Africa. It is the first map that covers the whole continent and not only small areas of interest.

According to DigitalGlobe, whether zoomed out to view an entire country, or zoomed in all the way down to view local vegetation, dwellings, and infrastructure, the imagery looks the way a user expects the Earth’s surface to look. This uniformity helps local governments or global development agencies to build out maps and value-added information layers such as... read more

Publishing Date: 28/04/2015
Image of Aïn Témouchent province captured by Alsat-2A on 12 March 2015 (Image: ASAL)

Through satellite-bases research, the Algerian Space Agency ASAL has found a positive vegetation recovering of the forest areas located in the Aïn Témouchent province after the damages caused by wildfires in 2014.

The forest fires of summer 2014 devastated around 180 hectares, with Beni Ghenam being the most affected region, as Algérie1 reported. The main cause of the fires was human negligent behaviour while visiting the forests.

The analysis and comparison of images compiled by the Alsat-2A satellite in August 2014 and March 2015 has shown a growing chlorophyll activity related to the increase of vegetation along the burned areas.

This result helps to... read more

Publishing Date: 17/04/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Flooding in Tanzania in 2010 (Image: NASA)

Tanzania will create a new agency for emergency response and disaster risk reduction, both for man-made disasters and disasters triggered by natural hazards. The Tanzanian Parliament has passed an according law establishing the agency.

Reuters reported: "The Disaster Management Agency (DMA) will oversee efforts to prevent... read more

Publishing Date: 08/04/2015
Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, captured by the Proba-V satellite in January 2015 (Image: ESA/VITO)

South Africa will launch an Earth observation satellite in 2019, as the head of the South African National Space Agency Sansa, Sandile Malinge, announced to a newspaper.

In doing so, South Africa would like to have their own data readily available instead of relying on international satellites. According to the newspaper Mail & Guardian, Sansa buys Spot-6 and Spot-7 data – used by entities such as the departments of human settlements, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and Statistics South Africa – for about R35 million a... read more

Publishing Date: 07/04/2015

Advisory Support

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).

Mission dates: 26/05/2014 to 30/05/2014

Regional Support Office

The UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) in Algeria is hosted by the Algerian Space Agency (Agence Spatiale Algerienne, ASAL). It was established during the third African Leadership Conference on Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development on 7 December 2009 in Algiers.

This RSO, which covers both North Africa and the Sahel region, was established as a part of the Central Agency for Civil Protection. In case of an emergency, it will liaise between the end-users of space-based information and the Algerian Space Agency, which will act as a value-adder to space-derived data.

 

The Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed a cooperation agreement on the occasion of the UN-SPIDER Regional Workshop – “Building Upon Regional Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management and Emergency Response for Africa” in Addis... read more

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