Africa embarks on strengthening its early warning capacity
Situation Room officers from the African Union Commission (AUC), IGAD Climate Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC), and the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) took part in a two-week training in May 2021, focusing on the myDEWETRA platform, which is an open-sources web-platform of the Italian Department of Civil Protection available to requesting countries. It is a fully integrated system for the analysis and projection of hazard-related events while also providing impact-oriented scenarios. The training was funded by the Government of Italy, and organized by UNDRR and its technical partner the CIMA Research Foundation.
Installation of the myDEWETRA platform will enable scientists and decision makers to develop real-time risk assessments, with a focus on forecasting and monitoring of hazards (e.g. forest fires and floods). Designed as a data integrating and sharing system, myDEWETRA platform for Africa not only provides a pragmatic tool for visualizing data, assessing, and managing disaster risks, but also allows disaster risk reduction (DRR) stakeholders in Africa to share risk-related information and actively contribute to global early warning cooperation.
This training is one of a series of activities taking place as part of the implementation of the Africa Road Map for “Improving the Availability, Access and Use of Disaster Risk Information for Early Warning and Early Action, including in the Context of Transboundary Risk Management.
The officers being trained are expected to use their newly acquired skills to operate the AUC Situation Room designed to support disaster related early warning and early action. The training “has strengthened our knowledge in integrated approaches using IT systems for Early Warning,” said Sandra Delali Kemeh, Disaster Operations Expert. Lusajo Ambukege, Senior Early Warning Systems and Disaster Operations Expert, noted that “myDEWETRA is a powerful open knowledge portal for hydro-meteorological global solutions”
Jully Ouma, HydroMet Expert from ICPAC said the myDEWETRA training was very useful as “a one-stop-shop for hazards and disasters” in terms of monitoring and early warning. He added that “myDEWETRA will be our primary analysis platform for the ICPAC situation room.”
The myDEWETRA platform directly contributes to the Sendai Framework global targets, with particular emphasis on Target F: “Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this framework by 2030” and Target G “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.”