Africa drought monitoring system dissemination workshop

29 May 2018

UNESCO-IHP, in collaboration the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at Princeton University developed an Africa drought monitoring and seasonal forecasting system. The system merges climate predictions, hydrological models and remote sensing data to provide timely and useful information on drought in developing regions where institutional capacity is generally lacking and the access to information and technology prevents the development of systems locally

Several workshops have been held for AGRHYMET for West Africa and ICPAC for Eastern Africa (IGAD), where the system was installed on centre servers. Local experts were trained in the operational running of the system and interpretation of the data outputs. The system has been used in West Africa to complement the monitoring system of AGRHYMET and the climate outlook within the region.

Africa droughts and floods monitoring and forecasting system was transferred combined with a training in the SADC region in November 2016 in partnership with WaterNet and the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Geography. Experts from Meteorological and hydrological services were trained on the system. Participants found the system very useful with potential use during the climate outlook fora (SARCOF). The participants agreed on a roadmap for the testing, validation and use of the Africa drought and flood monitoring system. Piloting the use of the information from the system in some countries was agreed.


The pilot intervention was conducted at two levels:

  • National level for the use of the hydro-climate information by water managers
  • Local level for the use of the Hydro-climate information by farmers communities

Six pilot interventions, three at national level and three at local level were considered with one pilot in a country.

The pilots were implemented in the following six countries selected during the Harare workshop:

  • Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe for local level with farmers communities
  • Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland at national level for water managers

Objectives of the Pilots
The main objective of the pilots was to evaluate the concrete operational use of the hydro-climate information provided by the Africa droughts and floods monitoring and forecasting system at national level for water managers and at community level for farmers. 
The specific objectives of the pilots were to:

  • Identify potential users of hydro-climate information and their needs
  • Prepare and disseminate adapted hydro-climate information to the targeted users
  • Monitor the use of the information
  • Evaluate the use of the information by the users

Outputs of the Pilots

For each pilot, the main outputs/deliverables are:

  • Targeted users including their needs identified
  • Adapted hydro-climate information to the needs of users prepared and disseminated
  • The use of the information monitored
  • An evaluation report produced

Following the completion of data collection in the pilot survey sites, WaterNet in partnership with UNESCO organised a one day dissemination workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe on 24 May 2018. The following were the objectives of the workshop:

  • To share the collected data with a wider audience from all the pilot sites
  • To discuss the results of the results
  • To map the way forward regarding the use of the Africa Drought Monitoring System.

The following  were the participants of the workshop:

  • Survey teams from each of the pilot sites
  • Invited government officials from each pilot site
  • Invited officials from the Government of Zimbabwe
  • SADC representatives
  • International Hydrological Programme Secretariat
  • invited International Hydrological Programme Committee members for Zimbabwe
  • UNESCO Secretariat officials
  • WaterNet Secretariat officials