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Europeaid: Satellites looking for water in Africa

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Europeaid: Satellites looking for water in Africa

Françoise Moreau, Head of Unit, DG DEVCO Unit D4, Africa-EU Partnership and African Peace Facility introduced the African-European TIGER partnership, which was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2002. It aims to develop the local capacity in Africa for sustainable water resource management through best use of satellite derived information. Moreau explained that the Space troika meetings between African Union and European Commission allows for dialogue on the benefits of satellite assisted water management for poverty reduction. She empahsised the importance of Global monitoring for environment and security (GMES) to ensure that data can have a positive impact on lives – this is key to development cooperation. 

Dr. Benjamin Koetz, Application Scientist, Earth Observation Directorate, European Space Agency, explained that DevCo and ESA can work together for better investment and for policy complementarity in this area.  He explained the Tiger Programme ( open data) is a user driven programme under African leadership, which has been endorsed by African Water Authorities. The results shows that Water Information Observation Systems (WOIS) are useful for livestock,  irrigation and more, including climate modeling.  Dr. Christian Hoffman, CEO, GeoVille GmbH, reminded the audience that 300million Africans lack access to clean water, which impacts poverty and hunger. Additionally, less than 10% of the land in Africa is irrigated.  Satellites are excellent for leap-frogging and overcoming terrestrial means, which are no longer efficient for accessing credible data . Currently there are 4GMES in Africa and four shall be  launched.

Here is Dr. Koetz's presentation.

Here is Dr. Hoffman's presentation