The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) held a one-day stakeholders workshop on the Use of Modis Data for Early Warning, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Environmental Monitoring at its offices in Kasarani (Nairobi), on Thursday, 4th June 2015.
Speaking during the workshop, Dr. Hussein Farah (Director General, RCMRD) said, “This is an important workshop for us as it marks an important milestone of a long effort to have NRT Earth Observation data that are freely and easily accessible in the Eastern African region that can support applications in Disaster Risk Reduction, Early Warning and Environmental Monitoring efforts.”
The objectives of the workshop included creating awareness of the data streams received and products generated through the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) antennae; and demonstrating the importance of near real-time data synthesis and product dissemination.
Additionally, the workshop focused on a product on near real-time fire detection; dissemination of the service; crop and pasture; and flood forecasting, whose impacts can be controlled or managed through timely delivery of information relating to location, time and magnitude.
Also, Lee Anamalai of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa shared his views during the workshop. He said, “This is an important milestone in the collaboration between CSIR and RCMRD. The stakeholder workshop and the successful installation and operations of the direct broadcast MODIS reception is going to enable the implementation of value added services for the region.”
RCMRD received a Grant from Google Foundation, with the support of SERVIR Africa, NASA and USAID, to procure, install, and build capacity for a MODIS direct readout antenna. MODIS is a key instrument aboard the NASA owned Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths necessary to improve the understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. The antennae is intended to provide real time satellite data to facilitate sustainable and reliable crop and pasture monitoring, flood and fire early warning services for Eastern and Southern African Regions.
CSIR and NASA (USA) offered their support through capacity building and technology transfer that was required, as well as the installation of the pre-processing tools for Earth Observation (EO) data.
The rationale for this investment is to provide state of the art technology to Eastern and Southern African Regions to advance mechanisms of early warning and improve climate change adaptation strategies.
With MODIS, RCMRD will play a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.
Among the stakeholders who attended the workshop included RCMRD, CSIR, the National Space Secretariat (NSS), Ministry of Defense (MOD), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), World Food Program (WFP), National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC), International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries- State Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Kenya Meteorological Service (KMS), ITC- University of Twente, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), University of Nairobi (UON), Kenyatta University (KU), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DEKUT), Kenya Forest Service (KFS).