Brenda Ziga and Margaret Matibiri
The University of Zimbabwe has established a satellite-based flood monitoring system to predict the occurrence of floods in the Sadc region to help prevent unnecessary loss of life and property.
Officially opening the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) workshop at the university yesterday, UZ Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura, said the development of the system would empower countries to deal with flooding.
“I am particularly pleased to inform you that the UZ has now developed the satellite based flood monitoring system for the flood services.
“We believe that the development of the satellite based flood monitoring system is one of our significant contributions to the region as it empowers countries to deal with flooding problems, particularly the prevention of unnecessary loss of life and property,” he said.
Prof Nyagura said the UZ was selected by the AU and Sadc to develop the satellite based flood monitoring system.
“Out of four MESA programmes services, the UZ is privileged to have been selected and mandated by the AU and Sadc to focus on capacity building for two of the services namely drought and flood services as well as developing an IT flood monitoring system for the flood device,” he said.
Prof Nyagura said the ongoing training programme at the university was important as it equipped the participants with critical knowledge and skills.
“We are one and a half months from the rainy season so we have to be more than ready to deal with floods before they strike so we can save lives and property in Africa.
“Any technology is just as good as the human system in which it is embedded, but if we do not have well qualified people to make use of it, it can be useless or worsen the situation.
Speaking at the same occasion, MESA project manager Mr Isaac Kusane, said the flood project was important for the Sadc countries to manage their agriculture sector in a sustainable way.
“The essence of this workshop is that member states in the Sadc region will be able to predict situations before they come. MESA focuses on agriculture services, wild fires services, drought services and flood services. Sadc countries should acquire information that will enable them to predict and warn people,” he said.
The MESA training programme that started yesterday is being attended by delegates from 15 member countries and will end on August 26.
The workshop is running under the theme “Managing Environmental and Agricultural Resources”.