Consultative Workshop on Use of Space Technology to Monitor Droughts Conducted

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Addis Ababa August  29/2019 A workshop that aims to use organized space technology primarily for drought monitoring, predication, and forecasting in Ethiopia was held here today.

A workshop that aims to use organized space technology primarily for drought monitoring, predication, and forecasting in Ethiopia was held here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Innovation and Technology State Minister Ahemedin Mohammed said Ethiopia has been exposed to frequent and severe droughts due to various reasons.

“The occurrences of cycles of droughts have forced the government to formulate drought early warning preparedness mechanisms and continuous monitoring of prevalence to drought,” he noted.

The cooperation between Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) and United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) enhances the capacity to manage the drought disaster management cycle in Ethiopia, he added.

Head UN-SPIDER Office in Germany, Juan Carlos told ENA that “UN-SPIDER will collaborate with ESSTI through provision of technical advisory support to develop procedures that ESSTI’s scientists can use.”

The procedures can help analyze satellite imagery and career training courses, Carlos added.“We will put the professionals in contact with other space agencies and research centers dealing with drought and space technologies so that they can identify potential synergies.”

He stated that UN-SPIDER has 23 regional offices around the globe, and “will work to network ESSTI with our regional experts.”

Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) Director-General, Solomon Belay said on the occasion the severe and frequent droughts in Ethiopia need organized space-based technological support to monitor, forecast, and predict it.

“Earth observation from space, complimented with other applications, is cost effective method for different management of the natural resources, monitoring natural phenomena, and providing essential data for decision-makers,” he noted.

According to Solomon, the institute is building a station that could receive data from about 11 satellite data applications will be completed in November, 2019.

ESSTI, in collaboration with the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), hosted the one-day conference which focused on strengthening scientific networking in research areas of drought and capitalizing efforts to utilize space products for combating recurrent droughts.