UNESCO to launch Zimbabwe Flood and Drought Monitor

24/11/2019
, Zimbabwe
06 - Clean Water and Sanitation
13 - Climate Action

The pilot Zimbabwe Flood and Drought Monitor (ZFDM) for the management of potential flood and drought risks is set to be launched on 27th November 2019 in Harare. 

The ZFDM provides a platform to monitor and provide forecasts of upcoming flood and drought hazards at a time when the country is battling with El Niño- and La Niña-induced droughts and floods, resulting in the loss of lives and properties, and acutely affecting the already stressed economy.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Honourable Perence Shiri is expected to deliver a keynote address at the launch ceremony that will also be attended by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon Amon Murwira; Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. July Moyo; UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Ribeiro; UN representatives; senior government officials and stakeholders in environment, water and climate services sectors.

Zimbabwe still lags behind in terms of having an operational Early Warning System (EWS) at the national level. As climate change is increasing the frequency of water related hazards, the need for an operational Early Warning System becomes even more pressing.

UNESCO and Princeton University developed in 2011 the "African Flood and Drought Monitor" (AFDM), providing a regional platform to monitor and provide forecasts of upcoming flood and drought hazards. Building on this regional effort, and in response to Cyclone Idai, a more detailed, national version of the Monitor was developed for Zimbabwe to strengthen flood and drought risk management in the country, and to support the work of the national agencies and related stakeholders to address these hazards.

The ZFDM, which strengthens proactive climate risk management in the country, contributes to Zimbabwe’s efforts to establish a National Framework for Climate Services. 
Prior to the launch, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) will conduct a 2-day workshop (25-26 November 2019) aimed at developing and strengthening the capacity for disaster preparedness and resilience to extreme hydro-meteorological phenomena in Zimbabwe.