AU/EU initiates MiMFASS to boost capacity of disaster management organisations

THE African Union (AU), in partnership with European Union (EU), has initiated Multi-Scale Flood Monitoring and Assessment Services for West Africa (MiFMASS) to boost capacity of disaster management organisations (DMOs).

The Executive Director, Centre for Space Science and Technology Education (CSSTE) Nigeria, Dr Ganiy Agbaje and the consortium partner in the project disclosed  this in Ibadan while addressing journalists.

The African Union (AU) and EU introduced MiFMASS through their joint initiative, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Support Programme.

MiFMASS, according to information, is expected to be implemented by CSSTE. It is aimed at boosting human capacity of DMOs through the use of Earth Observation (EO)-based services.

Agbaje disclosed that the effort was to develop a model based on the collaborations of AU and EU, adding the model is aimed at using data from satellite to monitor and manage flood.

He said: “We believe that we can handle it using data from the satellite. And as much as possible, we are using data that are free and accessible to support other data to access and monitor flooding.

“This will provide services to DMOs such as OYSEMA, NEMA, NIMET and help them build capacity at the end.”

He further informed that the project which will have lots of products and outreach programmes will have communities as its real beneficiaries

Agbaje said that the project with a duration of three years (36 months), would encourage proactiveness and lessen the economic loss experience annually.

According to him, “at completion, this project will help on alertness, flood forecasting and we will convey solutions from the project to communities using their languages and various channels.”

“We are going to build capacities for the current mandated DMOs on what we are doing so that they can download free software and erase paying renewal yearly.”

He admonished stakeholders to enlighten the people on the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of refuse, calling for collective effort in solving the problem.

The Communication Consultant, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), Mr Abiodun Adefioye, called for the support of media organisations, saying they have very massive role to play in flooding, mitigation and disaster control.

“It is the media that passes the message to the very last mile people in the community to know what to do and what not to do in flood, mitigation and disaster control,” he said.

Adefioye said that IUFMP is a project of Oyo State Government with the support of World Bank in terms of funding and technical assistance.

He said that the project is a special purpose vehicle initiated to address perennial flooding in Ibadan overtime, adding the project had involved certain initiatives to prevent flooding in the state.

According to him, “I can tell you that there are damaged hydraulic structures from the August 2011 flooding disaster that ravaged Ibadan. Some of the structures have been rebuilt and work is ongoing on 13 priority sites in the state.”

Also, the secretary of Oyo State Emergency Management Agency(OYSEMA), Alhaji Luqmon Aransi, urged stakeholders to desist from blocking water channels through indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

Aransi said that the state government had embarked on certain projects to forestall possible flooding among which was the dredging of major rivers in Ibadan.

He assured that the agency would embark on sensitisation campaign to all zones of the state to educate the people on indiscriminate dumping of refuse in water channels.