A participatory workshop was held on 13 July 2021 to introduce and discuss the new Namibia flood and drought monitoring and early warning system. There were about 60 participants.
The virtual event was hosted by the UNESCO Windhoek (Namibia) Office, and Mr. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, Head of Office, opened the meeting. Ms. Maria Amakali, Acting Deputy Executive Director for the Department of Water Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, and Mr. Simon Dirkse, on behalf of Mr. Franz Uirab, also provided opening remarks. Ms. Pauline Mufeti, Deputy Director of Namibia Hydrological Services, presented on the current situation in Namibia. She noted that climate variability has been extremely high in recent years.
Mr. Justin Sheffield of the University of Southampton, UK and Princeton Climate Institute then described and ran a live demo of the system. He noted that it is online, free and open-access, and with no registration or login required. It runs about two days behind real-time. The system essentially does three things – it monitors the current hydrology, provides short-term flood forecasts (updated daily), and provides seasonal climate forecasts (updated monthly). Break-out "rooms" were then formed for discussions about how the system could be used and improved.
The system was developed by the Princeton Climate Institute. Support for the project was provided by the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and the Flanders-UNESCO Fund for Science, through the CLIMWAR program. Additional funding for the system has been provided through the years by the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM).