Earlier this year in March 2019, The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) called for applications within its member countries for its International Climate programs. Following the call, several African students applied for twelve different PhD programs which are offered by the Organization. The program selected in total hundred and thirty (130) best candidates; thirty five (35) candidates are from English speaking countries; and ninety five (95) candidates come from French speaking countries among which the Togolese applicants account for fourteen (14). As WASCAL PhD Scholars, they have enrolled in the organization’s Climate Program. Once again, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal Ministry of Education (BMBF) have fully backed WASCAL’s initiative to train adequate Climate Change experts in West Africa for a fourth batch of students. Thus, WASCAL started its 2019-2020 academic year with the set of new students. They came from French and English speaking countries of West Africa and are currently gathered in two West African Universities to take language courses. As WASCAL Anglophones’ French classes began on September 16th, 2019 in Lomé, the WASCAL Francophone counterparts have been taking English courses at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Core courses are planned to start in January 2020.
The WASCAL Center of Lomé, Togo, organized therefore, on Monday 21st October 2019 an official Induction Day for the Anglophones. These thirty five Anglophones are from The Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Were present at this ceremony, the Head of BMBF’s Climate Team, Mr. Gabin ANANOU; the Director of WASCAL Togo; Pr. Komi AGBOKA, the Deputy Director of WASCAL Togo; Dr. Komi BEGEDOU; and Dr. Lucas ASSOTI, Director of Studies of CIREL-Village du Benin among others.
CIREL (Centre International de Recherche et d’Etudes de Langues) also known as Village du Bénin is an International Research Centre for Language Studies under the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of the Togolese Republic; the Centre provides educational activities in French and English Language Research and Studies as well as educational and cultural knowledge development.
The official induction ceremony occurred at the University of Lomé Campus. The students were advised to take the Programme seriously with a sole objective to complete and graduate within the timeframe set out in the Organization’s regulations. The rules and regulations to govern the program were shared with the students.
By sponsoring French language classes, WASCAL breaks French language barrier among the learners yet to become Climate Experts in the West African sub region. This three-month French course is intended to facilitate cultural and social integration of students in their various target countries of study.
In addition, BMBF offered on this Induction Day thirty five (35) laptops as an aid to students for their PhD program. The grant should be used wisely and be preserved properly. On their part, the students equally noted that in case of drop out, those laptops must be returned to WASCAL.
Below is the list of the new PhD students enrolled in the program:
The West African Science Service Centreon Climate Change and AdaptedLand Use, WASCAL of the University of Lomé hosted from 26 to 28 August 2019 a regional awareness and technical training workshop on the implementation of early warning systems and flood forecast. Thisworkshop aims to improve the capacities of national and regional policy frameworks. It was initiated by the ECOWAS Commission with the financial support of the Word Bank
The opening of this training workshop took place last Monday, August 26, 2019 in the presence of Prof. KOKOU Kouami, Director of WASCAL-Togo, Mr. SALIFOU Ousseini, representative of the ECOWAS Commission and Lieutenant-Colonel BAKA Yoma, Director General of the National Agency of Civil Protection (ANPC), representative of the Togolese Government (Photo).
In his welcome address, Prof. KOKOU stressed that flood management is a major concern for communities that are increasingly affected by the enormous damage caused by floods especially in this climate change context. He also welcomed the initiative of this training and the choice of WASCAL at the University of Lomé to host this workshop. He also informed the audience that WASCAL will soon welcome students from 10 ECOWAS countries for doctoral training on disaster risk management.
For Mr. SALIFOU, despite the efforts made in the management of natural disasters in West Africa, institutional, technical and financial obstacles still prevent the effective management of floods. He further added that the workshop is in line with the implementation of the ECOWAS Action Plan which provides for the establishment of a sub-regional flood management observatory and the capacity building of experts of its Member States
Lieutenant-Colonel BAKA, for his part, expressed the gratitude of the Togolese government to the technical and financial partners who continue to assist Togo in disaster risk reduction before expressing the wish that the modules planned for this training of 3 days can equip participants with flood forecasting skills
After the opening ceremony, the workshop continued with various training sessions, particularly on flood hazard mapping, the development of an early warning system, and so on. Certificates of participations were given to participants at the end of the training.
Training 1: Regional Awareness Training on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems
Training Programme & Outline
Date: 26 – 28 August, 2019
The ECOWAS Commission and the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) entered into a four year “Grant” Agreement (2016-2019) to support ECOWAS in the development and implementation of programmes to strengthen disaster risk reduction coordination, planning and policy advisory capacity in West Africa.
The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) led consortium of national, regional and international institutions experienced in research and capacity building have been contracted to support ECOWAS in the implementation of its Plan of Action (POA) and to facilitate the research and capacity building components of the POA.
Based on the results of the inventory of existing policies and legislations as well as the early warning/flood forecasting systems in ECOWAS member countries and region, WASCAL, together with consortium partners, developed a regional transboundary flood forecasting mechanism and recovery planning for implementation. Moreover, training needs assessment (TNA) was conducted through a tailor-made questionnaire shared with about 57 identified stakeholders/user groups among the 47 institutions / organizations / departments in the 15 ECOWAS member countries. Forty-three (43) institutions / organizations / departments provided responses to the questionnaire, which were subsequently analysed for the existing capacity along with the needs. The TNA report concludes with recommendations and proposed capacity building plans to be taken forward. To this end, ECOWAS has made a commitment to facilitate the training and capacity enhancement of the ECOWAS Commission and experts from member states related to a regional awareness and implementation of flood forecasting and Early Warning Systems. Training workshops are planned as follows:
Training 1 ‘Regional Awareness Training on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems’ with a focus on introductory/basic level of concepts, policies and application of tools as well as benefits and limitations on using these tools for decision making. This training will be jointly planned and implemented by WASCAL, WRI, FUTA, HKV, Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the United Nations Institute for training and Research (UNITAR) and ECOWAS.
Training 2 ‘Regional Technical Training to Implement Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems’ consisting of hands-on sessions on hydrological forecasting chain, workflows, analysis, early warning dissemination based on different tools as well as on the system. This training will be jointly planned and implemented together with AGRHYMET, WASCAL HKV, Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the United Nations Institute for training and Research (UNITAR) and ECOWAS.
Two e-learning events, one facilitated training and one self-paced, covering topics on flood forecasting and Early Warning Systems together with Geospatial Information Applications in Disaster Risk Reduction.
The key objectives and expected results of these learning events on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems are to enhance the capacities in existing national/regional policy frameworks on DRR/M including Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems, understand and apply flood forecasting and hydrological modelling tools.
This training program and outline focuses on Training 1 ‘Regional Awareness Training on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems’ which will be delivered in Lomé, Togo in the period 26 – 28 August 2019.
Training 1- Overall Objectives:
At the end of Training 1, participants should be able to:
Improve their understanding of the existing national/regional policy frameworks on DRR(M) including Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems
Improve their understanding of the concepts and terminology of DRR(M) as well as operational data requirements for implementation with a focus on flood forecasting system
Recognize benefits and limitations of the use of GIT for DRR
The aim of this training is to raise awareness about regional/national flood forecasting practices and Early Warning Systems in ECOWAS region. Workshop participants will also be taken through selected case studies to operational EWS services and GIT applications for DRR relevant to support operational decision making for enhanced flood management in ECOWAS region.
Duration and Instructional Methodology:
3-days training event:
This is a full-time, face-to-face training workshop designed with the following 3 modules:
Module 1: National/regional policy frameworks on DRR(M) and Early Warning System
Module 2: Hydrological Modelling of Flood Forecast and Early Warning
Module 3: The use of GIT for DRR(M) and EWS
Each module is structured into 4 sessions of 1.5 hours each. The average workload per module is likely to be around 6 hours. To ensure active learning by all participants, interactive sessions will be provided through the use of Power Point presentations, group discussions, live demos, videos and maps with the purpose of achieving learning objectives defined for this training workshop.
Module 1: National/regional policy frameworks on DRR(M) and Early Warning System
This module will seek to provide participants with a general overview of the project: “Disaster Risk Reduction Practice Research and Capacity Building Support to ECOWAS”, its objectives and progress made so far. The module will address three sub-objectives. First, it will bring to the fore observed issues in national DRR policies, especially with respect to early warning systems, and the need to ensure harmonization and alignment with regional policies for effective DRM at regional scale. Analysis of national and regional policies documents and the main findings in light of future needs will be presented. Second, the module will provide an overview of transboundary floods and disasters in West Africa and how national and regional policies must be developed to seamlessly address the increasing incidence of transboundary floods and disasters. Third, the module will highlight the importance/contribution of flood hazard hotspot mapping to the development of early warning systems.
Learning Objectives (Mod. 1):
At the end of Module 1, participants should be able to:
Demonstrate understanding of the gaps in national and regional DRR practices and policies
Identify the increasing incidence of transboundary floods in the region and the need to address the rising trend through harmonized national-regional policies
Explain the concept of flood hazard mapping and its contribution to the development of early warning systems
Module 1 Structure:
Training Material (delivered)
Introduction to DRR Practice Research and Capacity Building in West Africa
Flood hazard mapping using open access geospatial data (overview of data sources and methodologies) and its relevance in the development of early warning system
Presentation, interactive session, hands-on
Presentation slides, tutorial document
Focal Point: Dr. Aymar Y. Bossa
Module 2 : Hydrological Modelling of Flood Forecast and Early Warning
This module will seek to provide participants with an overview of FEWS initiatives in the region, information on regional hydrological modelling and how a regional flood early warning system can be set up. The module will address four sub-objectives in four sessions. First it will introduce what flood forecasting and early warning is, what is important and what systems are already operational in the region. Secondly the module will introduce what is required for setting up a FEWS (nationally and regionally), from a data sharing perspective but also operationally. Participants will discuss how they view the operational and data requirements. Thirdly hydrological modelling as part of flood forecasting is discussed. This session focusses more on the technical side of flood forecasting, the hydrological modelling. How such a model can be build, what software is available and what is needed from an organisational and data perspective, The fourth and last session focusses on early warning generation and dissemination. This means how a warning is generated from a FEWS and what a forecaster can do with it. A hands on practice with a showcase system for the region is included to stimulate the discussion on what information is needed, what the role of ECOWAS can be and how information can be disseminated.
Learning Objectives (Mod. 2):
With this module the participants will learn/develop the following:
An understanding of existing systems in the region;
Know what is required for setting up a FEWS from an organisational and data sharing perspective;
Gain background information on hydrological modelling.
Get a better idea of the roles of different national institutes, regional institutes and ECOWAS in flood forecasting, early warning and dissemination;
Understand that flood forecasting is only the first step and that monitoring, checking forecasts and communication of warnings is a vital second.
Module 2 Structure:
Training Material (delivered)
Gain knowledge on what flood forecasting is, what is important and what is already there.
Presentation, interactive session
Understand what is needed from a data and organization perspective for regional modelling
Presentation, roundtable discussion
Understand what different kinds of hydrological modelling exist, how it can be applied for the ECOWAS region, limitations and what kind of information is needed.
Presentation and interactive session.
Combining FEWS with hazard maps for impact based forecasting. Discussing what is needed on a country level, what role ECOWAS can play and how information can be disseminated.
Presentation and hands-on
Slides, tutorial document FEWS-dashboard (link) and hazard maps
Focal Point: Geerten Horn
Module 3: Use of Geospatial Information Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction/Management
GIT is a very useful tool for the whole disaster management cycle starting from the preparedness phase, mitigation to response, recovery and reconstruction. GIT has proven to be efficient for implementing coherent DRR (M) activities at regional, national and local scales. GIT allows quantifying risk, expected future losses, identify locations in need of risk reduction measures and support operational decision making for enhanced flood management. The purpose of this module is to provide participants with a general overview of GIT methodologies and case studies related to DRR (M).
Learning Objectives (Mod. 3):
At the end of Module 3, participants should be able to:
Demonstrate understanding of GIT (GIS and remote sensing) in DRR (M)
Identify, access, search, collect, organize and analyse geospatial data relevant to DRR (M) projects
Recognize how to apply GIS methodology to perform flood risk assessment
Training Material (delivered)
Introduction to GIT application for DRR/M
Presentation, interactive session
Caste study 1: Gathering geospatial data for DRR/M projects
The course is designed to accommodate participants from a variety of backgrounds and professional experiences:
Early Career Permanent Technical Staff from Governmental Institutions:
ECOWAS member states DRR/M Services,
ECOWAS Head Quarters in Abuja
University Professors: mainstreaming DRR into education curricula
Technical Capacity requirement:
Have academic and professional knowledge of hydromet application
Have basic knowledge and GIS and Remote Sensing technology
Have a background in numerical hydrometeorological forecast
Portable computer required
English with simultaneous translation into French language.
The number of participants is limited to 34 with translation service.
Training Workshop Certificate:
Participants will be given a UN certificate from UNITAR on successful completion of the training workshop.
The regional awareness training workshop on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems is going to be held at the University of Lomé in Lomé, Togo from 26-28 August 2019.
The Training 1 is offered by West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), WRI, FUTA, HKV and the Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the United Nations Institute for training and Research (UNITAR).
WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Centre designed to help tackle this challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany.
WRI (Water Research Institute) operates under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana. It is mandated to research into water and related resources. In pursuance of this mandate, the institute generates and provides scientific information, strategies and services towards the rational development, utilization and management of water resources in support of the socio-economic advancement.
FUTA (Federal University of Technology, Akure) has amongst others the mandate to build capacity of young scholars by interacting with several very specialized world class interdisciplinary centres that are involved in training, research, and service delivery with both local and international centres and agencies.
HKV is a knowledge entrepreneur in flood risk and water resources management with experts in research and consultancy services who works on the implement of early warning systems for floods and droughts around the world. Their services are based on in-depth knowledge of hydrology, hydraulics, morphology, mathematics, remote sensing and IT. They have earned a lead position in the Netherlands and they deliver projects on a global scale.
UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) is a technology intensive programme active in all aspects of applied research relating to satellite solutions, from earth observations to telecommunication, positioning and navigation. UNOSAT delivers satellite solutions, geographic information to organizations within and outside the UN system to make a difference in the lives of communities exposed to poverty, hazards, and conflict, or affected by humanitarian and other crises. The main office of UNOSAT is located on the CERN site in Meyrin, Geneva, on the border between Switzerland and France and regional offices at Bangkok, Nairobi and N’djamena.
UNITAR-UNOSAT and WASCAL
08:30-08:50: Welcome addresses (WASCAL, World Bank, ECOWAS, Togolese Government Representative).
Introduction to DRR Practice Research and Capacity Building in West Africa (WASCAL)
Introduction to Flood Forecast and Early
Introduction to Geospatial Information Technology
Challenges in DRR policies, especially disharmony between national and regional policies (WRI)
FFEW Model Input Requirement and Data Availability
GIT applications for DRR – Case Study 1
Trend in transboundary flood incidences and implications for national and regional policies (WRI & FUTA)
Hydrological Modelling of Flood Forecast
GIT applications for DRR – Case Study2
Flood hazard mapping using open access geospatial data (overview of data sources and methodologies) and its relevance in the development of early warning system (WASCAL)
The objective of the CLIMAFRI project is to co-develop and co-implement adaptation strategies for sustainable management of flood risk and natural resources in the transboundary Mono River Catchment. The specific scientific and technical objective of the consortium is to collaboratively establish the River Basin Information System through the integration of science-based data with information and knowledge from local stakeholders and communities. To achieve the sustainable implementation of the River Basin Information System, it is a key objective of CLIMAFRI to train professional staff on multiple scientific and technical aspects during the process of establishing the information system and to embed the information system within the responsible authority(ies) in the (transboundary) region.
During the week of June 24 to 28, 2019, several local and foreign partners took part in the various activities planned for this project. The first day was a team work between local and foreign partners. On 25 and 26 June 2019, all the participants visited the site of the mono river and were able to discuss with the localities affected by the flood caused by the water release from the dam of Nangbeto. The 28/06/2019 takes place the effective launch of the project. Several stakeholders did take part. The last day was devoted to visit the different departments of the stakeholders.
Aknowledgment : Alumni Alberta ARYEE and lecturer Julia KLOOS worked on the the topic «INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND RESILIENCE TO RIVER FLOOD IN WEST AFRICA». This Work is published as first chapter of the book titled : “ADVANCING CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH IN WEST AFRICA: Trends, Impacts, Vulnerability, Resilience, Adaptation and Sustainability Issues” :
The book is available as the complementary contributor copy
On Tuesday 6th November 2018, WASCAL hosted a Green Entrepreneurship Forum in the University of Lomé.
The event took place in the WASCAL lecture Hall in the presence of forty (40) participants including Professor Kokou Kouami, Director of National Institute of Scientific Research and Director of WASCAL Programme in Togo.
Under the theme: “Green Entrepreneurship, engine of my sustainable economic growth” SNEV was organized by OOADD and AJSE and aims at promoting green entrepreneurship in the country to increase the visibility of eco-entrepreneurs and educate young people about green jobs opportunities.
The National Green Entrepreneurship Week (SNEV) started with the Green Entrepreneurship Forum; this first edition in Togo involved the Alumni of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, Mr. BAGBOHOUNA M’koumfida. The Director in his address to the youth encourage them to develop new ideas and projects in the sector of green entrepreneurship for a better sustainable future.
In his opening address, Mr. Mandela DJAHO, President of Observatoire Ouest Africain du Développement Durable (OOADD) highlighted that the event is being organized on the eve of the climate conference of the parties. He focused the issues of unemployment and climate change and stressed on the role of the youth in the fight against the daunting effects of climate change in order to save the planet for future generations.
Several topics were discussed at the forum including: the State of Green Entrepreneurship in Togo; the mechanism for financing green projects by the FAIEJ; and the contributions identified at the national level. In addition, a project was presented on young people economic initiatives support for the sectors’ development by one of the young green entrepreneur, Mr. AKAKPO Lado.
The National Green Entrepreneurship Week will be the platform for several activities such as sensitization conferences in the universities in the country, field trips, and radio broadcasts.
On Friday19th October 2018 at 14 h 30 min, WASCAL Programme in Togo organized a restitution meeting of a Project on « Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA). Under the patronage of the EMbassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in TTogo, the Director of WASCAL Togo, Professor Kokou Kouami Hosted the Project’ stakeholders in the premises of the programme at the Université de Lomé.
The “Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA) is a Project funded by the European Union. It aims to quantify the influence of anthropogenic and natural emissions on the atmospheric composition in West African countries and evaluate their impact on human health and ecosystems as well as regional meteorology.
Earlier in June and July 2016 an international consortium of sixteen (16) participants from two (2) countries in West Africa and four (4) European countries join efforts to conduct a large-scale field campaign around five (5) developing countries in West Africa. These countries include : Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
Togo played a very important role during the field data collection campaign, including the accommodation of three (3) research aircraft (one French, one German and one British) at the Lomé military airport as well as the operating center established at Omono Hotel in Lomé. In addition, researchers and operators involved in the DACCIWA Project worked closely with academic and operational actors (Meteorological Services, Air Control – ASECNA). The methodology of the first results are described in the following publication: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0256.1
About two years after the campaign, DACCIWA Project stakeholders have proceeded to the communication and dissemination of scientific findings of their Project for the benefit of interested parties including government authorities, universities, meteorological services and commercial services. The Project conclusions focused on the following topics:
Concentrations of pollutants in urban areas and their effects on health;
Sources of urban pollution;
Regional pollution and its impacts;
The radiative effects of aerosols and their influence on weather and climate;
The state of the atmosphere in the countries of South-West Africa in the future; and
The shortcomings of current observations and models in the region.Prior to the WASCAL restittution meeting, the stakeholders met with the country’s authorities to present same campain results.