21 June 2013, Nairobi, Kenya - The second technical training on ‘Introduction to Remote Sensing (RS) and Field Data Collection Techniques for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)’ was successfully delivered within the IGAD-UNOSAT initiative Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Development in East Africa Using Geo-spatial Technologies. The training was officially opened on 10 June 2013 by a representative of the Royal Norwegian government, which supports the UNOSAT capcity development programme in Eastern Africa.

This two-week intensive session follows the first technical training on ‘Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for DRR’ that was held in Nairobi from 8-19 April 2013, with 18 participants from the IGAD Secretariat, ICPAC, ICPALD, CEWARN, IGAD Somalia, and the Kenya Polytechnic University. The aim of this training was to provide participants with concepts and methodologies related to remote sensing with specific applications on DRR. In addition, field data collection techniques using geo-spatial tools were also addressed.

Dr. Hussein Farah, Director General of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), stated at the opening session that RCMRD is pleased to be associated with UNITAR/UNOSAT and IGAD in the organization of the training. The Norwegian government was thanked for their support to developing the capacity of IGAD in the areas of GIS and DRR.

Professor Laban Ogallo, Director of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), echoed Dr. Farah’s words by thanking the Norwegian government and reiterated ICPAC’s commitment to the success of the initiative. He went on to explain why GIS is important in mapping resources and addressing regional challenges such as climate change: "Remote sensing is the next generation of data acquisition. We are therefore excited about the project as it allows us to geo-reference our data and help the region to address various development challenges. Our own knowledge development is therefore critical."

Speaking on behalf of UNITAR, Luca Dell’Oro of UNOSAT thanked the project partners and shared the evaluation results from the first technical training, which had achieved its learning objectives successfully. Mr. Schei from the Norway Embassy thanked IGAD and UNOSAT for organizing the training and pointed out the importance of maintaining the ongoing relationship between the Norwegian government, IGAD, and UNOSAT. He said: "Both UNOSAT and IGAD are useful institutions for us. We have been working with IGAD for around 10 years in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia. We are also happy to continue our work with UNOSAT, whom we have worked with in Asia and lessons learned from the Asian experience can now be applied in the Horn of Africa to address disaster risk."

The next training sessions within this initiative will focus on the development of advanced skills to meet specific needs of different IGAD entities.  

For more information, please contact: unosat@unitar.org