In January 2009, the German Aerospace Center, DLR in collaboration with UN-SPIDER are carrying out a national Capacity Building Workshop and technical training on earth observation technology for flood mapping and emergency management in Namibia. The workshop with more than 50 participants addresses the Namibian emergency and disaster sector, its institutions and involved agencies under the framework of the Namibian national emergency unit of the Cabinet of the Prime minister. It is organized by the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and funded by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The aim of this workshop is to bring in contact government officials and other experts with international support organisation and their service providers and experts. Furthermore it aims to get information, feedback and remarks form the Namibian disaster management institutions and its national and regional relief practitioners to facilitate the international collaboration in the future.
The capacity development measure takes place in the framework of a UNOOSA-UN-Spider technical advisory mission to Namibia with the aim of supporting the Namibian institutions increasing their emergency disaster management capacities. Already in the aftermath of the 2008 flood UN-SPIDER and DLR-ZKI had provided technical earth observation support to the Hydrological Service of Namibia, helping Namibians to take full advantage of what the international community was providing based on the International Charter call.
In the follow-up of the 2008 severe flooding season in northern Namibia the DLR (DFD) Capacity Building Unit in close cooperation with DLR-ZKI was requested to carry out a capacity building workshop in Namibia. This workshop consists of three major parts addressing different audiences and contributing to various topics of the emergency preparedness planning measures in the hydrological sector of Namibia. The first part of it is a National capacity building Stakeholder workshop with the major objective of sharing and distributing knowledge and experiences about the last flood emergency management as well as understanding the international support mechanisms and increasing capacities of invited Namibian institutions. The second part is a field trip to the affected area of the Cuvelai-Drainage System in northern Namibia with stakeholder discussions and interviews with affected citizen to learn about their measures and mechanism of emergency and crisis management experiences. The last part will provide a technical hands-on training about earth observation data information technology for water and flood related risk and emergency mapping in the Hydrology Service Division of MAWF. The MAWF would like to increase its water related disaster preparedness capacities to provide end-user adapted geospatial data products and services, as well as improve dissemination processes to reach out to flood affected provinces and local communities.
The participants of this workshop and training event will get an overview about the most recent earth observation technologies and available sensors and its particular image interpretation techniques as well as software solutions to process and classify satellite imagery. The participants will carry out own practical hands-on exercises to process and classify example imagery from various sensors to perform general land cover classifications as well as detection of flooded areas with the latest radar technologies based on TERRA-SAR-X imagery. Particular attention will be drawn to water and flood detection and mapping topics such as time series analysis of floods and local water level detection. Furthermore the workshop focuses on regional disaster management and land use planning measures with a demonstration of modelling flood probability maps and their implementation in land use and infrastructural planning. Additionally the German Aerospace Center will provide an extended learning and exercise handbook to the participants.
The DLR capacity building unit thanks the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, MAWF as well as the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for the invitation and the management of this international workshop. Special gratitude goes to UNOOSA-UN-SPIDER providing the international UN framework as well as DLR-ZKI for its personnel and technical capacities and services on rapid mapping.