9 September 2013 Nairobi, Kenya - UNOSAT experts have begun delivering the third and final training of the UNOSAT-IGAD Capacity Development Project. The main objective of the professional training, which runs in Nairobi from 9 to 20 September, is to provide participants with advanced GIS and remote sensing work methodologies relevant to the various missions they perform at IGAD, the Inter-Governamental Authority on Development.

Through lectures, GIS lab exercises using real scenarios, and group discussion, participants are guided to develop specific skills, including the ability to build a personal geodatabase, set up topological rules for data management, as well as apply GIS methodologies and tools to perform flood extent and response mapping, and resource-based conflict analysis.

The course opened on 9 September with a session focused on Geographic Information Systems, hazards, disaster response and capacity development. Of the three courses delivered by UNOSAT to IGAD experts, this is the most advanced. The course takes palce at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).UNOSAT delivers advanced training to IGAD

Roshni Dave, the UNOSAT regional coordinator in Nairobi, said: “Ensuring that IGAD institutions and member states can access and build upon knowledge of GIS and remote sensing tools and methodologies is critical to this region if the authorities are to plan effectively for, and respond to, natural disasters”.

The Horn of Africa is highly prone to natural disasters and extreme weather events and this UNOSAT raining is considered extremely valuable and timely. Ms. Beate Bull, First Secretary, Humanitarian Affairs at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kenya said: “The Government of Norway is proud to support this initiative by UNOSAT. The subject of GIS and related tools is very important and the knowledge generated will help countries at all levels in their disaster preparedness and response.”

Photo: Some of the speakers at the Opening session of the course: from left to right: Dr. Gaba Maki, Hydrologist/Water Resource Programme Officer, ICPAC; Ms. Beate Bull, First Secretary, Humanitarian Affairs, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kenya; Dr. Hussein Farah, Director, RCMRD; Ms. Roshni Dave, Regional Coordinator, UNOSAT; Mr. Khaled Mashfiq and Ms. Eleanor Rusack, Experts, UNOSAT.