Enhancing disaster risk reduction in Africa: UNDRR and Network of Centres of Excellence train experts in early warning systems

In response to Africa’s vulnerability to the threats and risks of disaster, which undermines the development and safety of the continent, the United Nation’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), in partnership with its Network of Centres of Excellence is building capacities of Africans to enable them to tackle the issue through the early warning system initiative.

At a 5-day training trainers’ workshop held in Accra, experts from across the continent’s relevant institutions were equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to train and develop their stakeholders in various topics related to approaches to early warning and anticipatory actions for predictable extreme events to build and strengthen disaster preparedness and resilience.

Hosted by WASCAL, the training brought together professionals of early warning systems and early action of Africa from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar and Italy.

Delivering his welcome address at the opening session of the workshop, the Executive Director of the West African Science Service Centre of Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Dr. Moumini Savadogo welcomed participants and admonished them to become agents of change after the training. He was also emphatic about the need for all and sundry to get involved in achieving the UN indicators set by the Early Warning for All initiative by 2027

Dr. Marco Massabo, Programme Coordinator at the CIMA Foundation, one of the key partners of the Network of Excellence was confident that through the training participants will understand the concepts and explore the approaches of Early Warning Systems and Early and Anticipatory Actions for Accra; Disaster Risk Financing; Harnessing climate risk data, data harmonization, and management and Participatory planning as a tool to improve anticipatory action.

The training is under the Network of Centres of Excellence (NoE) for Early Warning and Anticipatory Action, comprising the UNDRR, in collaboration with the CIMA Research Foundation, Stellenbosch University, Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DIMSUR), PERI PERI U, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), WASCAL, and with support from the Government of Italy.

Participants at the training expressed delight at the success of the training and pledged to pass on the knowledge acquired. The issue of disaster risk has become increasingly critical and a priority matter in the face of the increasing frequency and impacts of hazards experienced by both the continent and the global community. The importance of availability and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information is enshrined in the seven global targets of the 2015 Sendai Framework for Action, as well as has become the focus for the Early Warning for all launched in 2022 which aims to have every person on the planet be protected from fire, water, flood,
and other natural disasters.

The NoE initiative continues to work across the continent to create a network for enhanced engagement and collaboration between various stakeholders NGOs, academia, practitioners, and scientists working in the field of disaster risk reduction, early warning, anticipatory action, and disaster preparedness which can positively contribute towards efforts to bring together institutions and individuals from across the continent.

It aims to draw upon their expertise to develop and strengthen institutional capacity across national, regional, and continental levels to collect, exchange and analyse data in which to inform multi-hazard and impact-based early warning systems, and provides guidance to disaster risk affiliated authorities to implement anticipatory actions.

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