Drought

Zambia - Technical Advisory Mission

UN-SPIDER and its team of experts carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Zambia from 26 to 30 May 2014. The TAM was conducted upon invitation of the Office of the Vice-President, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Dates: 

Mon, 26/05/2014 to Fri, 30/05/2014

Country/Region: 

Main Hazards: 

Mission Profile: 

The team met with about 15 key stakeholder agencies in the country including the Survey Department, the Meteorological Service or the National Remote Sensing Centre. The experts took stock of issues such as policy gaps, availability of satellite data and geospatial information for all relevant institutions, the current use of space-based information in the country, and data sharing practice. The team also looked at challenges and constraints, existing capacity and further training needs, established institutional linkages and ways to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency response at the country level.

As a first follow up of the TAM, information was shared on data collection and very high resolution data acquisition options, seeing the high interest of the host institutions to work immediately on the implementation of the agreed recommendations. Meetings were also extended to various UN agencies with disaster-management responsibilities locally, and presentations on best practices were made at a workshop at the end of the mission.

A one-day workshop introduced participants to the potential of space-based technologies for disaster management and to best practices, and looked at options to improve their usage in Zambia.

Mission Findings: 

Zambia is in many ways advanced in its use of technology and its ability to use geospatial data. Its main needs are to set up a national spatial data infrastructure, to expand data-sharing, and to obtain access to regular Earth observations and high-resolution data from public and commercial sources.

Mission Recommendations: 

  • To collect additional remote sensing data and analysis for early warning;
  • To collect weather information in real time and to set up a denser network of weather stations to provide more accurate and timely information about the local situation;
  • To compile climate change resiliency information and related plans;  
  • To set up flood plain and risk mapping and an early warning system for floods; (e) To develop flash flood modelling and prediction capabilities;
  • To build capacity for remote sensing and the geographic information system and raise awareness, making optimal use of low-cost approaches and free data sources, applications, technologies and services;
  • To set up a fire warning system, recruit more fire watch staff and acquire more fire watch facilities and modelling tools;
  • To collect specific upper atmospheric data and models;
  • To develop a national high resolution digital elevation model;
  • To promote access to radar imagery and develop related processing capability.

 

Recommended Practice: Drought monitoring using the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI)

English

Teaser Recommended Practice: 

Drought monitoring is an important component in drought early warning systems. This practice shows how to monitor the impacts of meteorological drought on natural vegetation using MODIS optical satellite imagery. The practice has been developed by the Iranian Space Agency, a Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER. It can be followed using ENVI, RStudio or Python. It is similar to the practice developed by the Universidad Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) in Brazil, however it uses the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) instead of the Standard Vegetation Index (SVI).

Flowchart Recommended Practices: 

Objective: 

The purpose of this recommended practice is to monitor the impacts of meteorological drought on natural vegetation (rainfed, rangeland & forest). Availability, simplicity, free of charge data, good research literature and citation, minimum requirements of inputs are the main criterion, which has been considered to define the methodology.

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Preparedness

Main Hazards: 

  • Drought

Test Site: 

The practice as been applied to various regions as the method developed by the Iranian Space Agency has gradually been implemented in different programs. The test site used for the step-by-step instructions for ENVI includes the following five provinces in Iran: Alborz, Tehran, Semnan, Qom, Isfahan (See "In Detail for maps of the test site.). The original R script as well as the R script including a cloud mask have focused on Guatemala, while the R script for large areas has calculated the Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) for Peru. The Python code has been tested for Ghana.

Context: 

The total area of the test site in Iran amounts around 250,000 km2. The elevation within the test site ranges from 270m to 4,390m. The vegetation growth period is from May to June. The average annual rainfall amounts to 240mm. The predominant land cover is bare land and rangeland with mainly low vegetation density. Land cover of the test site also includes irrigated agriculture, rainfed agriculture, saline land, and seasonal lakes. Land cover classes with smaller occurrence include forest, orchard, and wetlands (see "In Detail" for maps of the test site).

Central American countries have experienced more frequent and intense droughts in the last two decades. These droughts have manifested themselves in arid areas of this regions, and have a greater impact on subsistence farmers. The worse effects and impacts have taken place when an international stressor (extreme reduction in the price of an agricultural export crop such as coffee in the world markets; or the substantial increase in the price of oil in the international markets) coincides with a severe drought. Governments have identified a certain geographic area in this region as the one most prone to the effects of droughts which is called the "Dry Corridor" of Central America.

Applicability: 

The methodology as such can be applied globally. However, the choice of the months of the MODIS data will vary depending on the timing of the vegetation period.

NOAA 15-17 (AVHRR 3)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

Aqua (MODIS)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

Terra (MODIS)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • DIM for Vegetation Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

Aqua (MODIS)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

Terra (MODIS)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

SRTM (SIR-C)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • Drought Index Map
  • Drought Index Map
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ENVISAT (ASAR)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

ENVISAT (AATSR)

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Relief & Response
  • Relief & Response

Space Technology/Product and Application: 

  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • DIM for Soil Moisture Monitoring
  • EO/RS
  • EO/RS

Field of Application: 

  • Drought
  • Drought
  • Disaster Type
  • Disaster Type

Satellite: 

English

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