In addition to the Charter activation UN-SPIDER is involved in a range of activities to provide further supplemental information, data and imagery to the affected countries in the region. UN-SPIDER is actively working in the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot projects context, co-leading some initiatives to better bridge between the available technical expertize and resources and the needs of the users in the field and at UN or national level. Additionally, UN-SPIDER is also cooperating with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Information Systems and Service (WGISS) experts in better using their capabilities and available space technologies and applications for disaster managment purposes. Based on these activities and contacts a community came together with the goal not only to support Namibia during the relief situation but to implement a pilot project that also supports in the aftermath of the floods.
Pilot project on integrated flood management and water related vector borne disease modeling
The main project idea is to combine high resolution satellite imagery with hydrologic ground data and modelling in order to derive useful flood forecasting tools for the next flood season in the sense of a transboundary flood management system for local decision makers.
The second pillar of the project is to explore possibilities of water related vector borne disease modelling. A strong collaboration with already existing networks, e.g. employed by WHO, is absolutely necessary. Moreover, the second focus should be extremely user-oriented, thus recommendations from the respective institutions in Namibia such as the Ministry of Health and Social Sciences are prerequisite in order to successfully integrate any approach/result of this project into the National Health Emergency Prepardness and Response Plan (NHEPRP).
UN-SPIDER is co-leading the coordination of this project together with scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and from the NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA-CREST) and in close collaboration with responsible institutions in Namibia. UN-SPIDER especially fosters the dialogue at the national level and with other UN agencies, such as UNDP, UNOCHA, UNISDR, WMO and WHO which are engaged in this area. As a general agreement, the mutual effort of this project is intended to produce valuable and tangible results that will be used in Namibia and surrounding countries such as Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe as well. Bringing together the international community and expertise is of increasing importance since the disaster management agencies in Southern Africa have to adapt to a rapidly growing number of natural disasters caused by floods and droughts. The effects of global climate change will most probably aggravate this situation. In addition, vector borne diseases and epidemics of weather- and climate-sensitive infectious diseases, including malaria, meningitis, and cholera, cause massive disruption to societies and put a heavy burden on national health systems.