UN-SPIDER/NASRDA/NEMA/NIHSA/ZFL Virtual expert meeting discusses space-based solutions for disaster risk management and emergency response in Nigeria

The Niger Delta. Image: ESA.

In recent decades, communities in Nigeria have experienced disasters triggered by floods, droughts, landslides, coastal erosion, oil spills, and other natural and technological hazards that have eroded hard-won development gains. Taking note of advances in space technologies and other technological innovations.

Since 2008, the UN-SPIDER programme of the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the United Nations (UNOOSA) has been providing technical advisory support to several African countries in order to facilitate the use of space technologies and space-based information in disaster risk, preparedness, response and recovery activities.  Taking note of the advances in space technologies and other technological advances, in June 2009 the National Space Research and Development Agency of Nigeria (NASRDA) signed a cooperation agreement with UNOOSA to become a Regional Support Office; and in June 2011 UN-SPIDER conducted a technical advisory mission to Nigeria to take note of advances on the use of space technologies in risk and disaster management applications.

In recent years and taking advantage of the availability of satellite imagery and data, UN-SPIDER has been generating maps of areas impacted by floods and droughts and providing them to the National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria (NEMA) and to NASRDA.  In addition, experts from Nigerian institutions and universities have been mobilized to UN-SPIDER international conferences conducted in Bonn, Germany. In the year 2020, maps of areas impacted by floods in the Niger river were provided to NASRDA and NEMA, and a virtual training course was conducted to train staff from NEMA and NASRDA on the use of the UN-SPIDER Recommended Practice for rapid flood mapping using Sentinel 1 radar imagery and the Google Earth Engine environment.

To continue efforts to make use of the opportunities made available by the space community, UN-SPIDER, NASRDA, NEMA, NIHSA and the Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces of the University of Bonn (ZFL) joined forces to carry out the UN-SPIDER/NASRDA/NEMA/NIHSA/ZFL National Virtual Expert Meeting on the use of Space-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response in Nigeria from 13 to 15 April. The virtual expert meeting focused on the use of space technologies to improve disaster risk reduction in Nigeria. Specifically, the goal of the meeting was to contribute to the efforts conducted by NEMA in the area of disaster risk reduction, preparedness, early warning systems, disaster response and recovery efforts. Outcomesof this Expert Meeting included, but were not limited to:

  • Enhancing space-based disaster management efforts in Nigeria
  • Improving capacity to use earth observation data to manage disasters in Nigeria
  • Raising awareness of the activities being conducted by national disaster management agencies and UN-SPIDER in Nigeria and identifying ways and means to become engaged in these activities

To achieve these outcomes, the expert meeting included presentations by several Nigerian institutions and other regional and international organizations and discussion sessions to allow participants to agree on ways to enhance the use of space-based information, in complementary fashion with in-situ information, in disaster risk reduction, preparedness and disasters response efforts. The presentations as well as recordings of all sessions can be accessed on the event page.

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