Malawi is a country frequently affected by floods, epidemics and droughts. In October 2013, a UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission was carried out upon the request of the Government in Malawi in order to assess how the country could improve its disaster risk management and emergency response capabilities using satellite information. The Mission followed up on a UN-SPIDER Expert Meeting conducted in November 2010.
Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA)
UN-SPIDER invited seven experts with a broad range of expertise and diverse backgrounds in the space-technology, disaster management and crowd-sourcing sectors to join the two UN-SPIDER experts on the mission team. The experts represented various United Nations agencies, academia and international as well as national organisations: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT), French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Technical University Vienna, Group on Earth Observation (GEO), Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources for Development (RCMRD) and the National Disaster Reduction Center China (NDRCC).
The team met with key national, international institutions and organisations in Malawi to discuss the current use of space-based information and technology in the country. A one day national workshop conducted on 18 October 2013 brought together over 40 participants and stakeholders from the academia, ministries, departments, NGOs and international organisation. A wide variety of subjects were addressed including remote sensing applications for disaster risk management, land use planning for disaster prevention, the added value of satellite-derived soil moisture assessments, the benefits of sharing geospatial information, the regional efforts for spatial data infrastructure and the need to access existing international mechanisms that make available satellite information and products to support emergency response.