Wilton Park working with IGAD in Kenya
30 January, 2014
In our first meeting in Kenya we continued our portfolio of work on disaster risk reduction by facilitating a regional discussion in Nairobi for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The meeting discussed the enhanced use of technology to mitigate disaster risk in the Horn of Africa.
Strengthening technological capacities and information access for improving disaster risk reduction in the Horn of Africa
Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 January 2014
Last week saw our inaugural presence in Kenya facilitating an important regional discussion in Nairobi for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with UNITAR/UNOSAT and with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
As the frequency and intensity of natural hazards (eg flooding, drought and earthquakes) in the Horn of Africa increase, so too does the risk to human life, the environment and economic prosperity. The meeting was convened to discuss the enhanced use of technology in mitigating and strengthening disaster response in the Horn of Africa.
The IGAD Executive Secretary, HE Mr Mahboub Maalim, opened the high level meeting of politicians, government officials and technical experts.
Dr Wilbur Ottichilo, Member of Parliament for Emuhaya Constituency, Kenya gave a keynote speech and the representative of Professor Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kenya was the guest of honour.
The conference recognised that greater development of risk assessments is needed, linking the improved seasonal and climate forecasting with the maps (for example the state of vegetation) that have been generated through the innovative use of satellite and GIS technologies etc. It was concluded that greater synergies are also needed across the multiple projects and activities in the region, how this new technology could be used to reduce the impact of drought in future, and warnings acted upon.
The meeting also discussed how the discovery of water in Turkana could ensure greater resilience in that area; the conference heard from Dr Abou Amani (Senior Water Science Programme Specialist and Regional Hydrologist for Africa, UNESCO) and Dr Alain Gachet (President and Chief Executive, Radar Technologies International) of their collaboration in locating the water.