Regional Awareness Training on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems

Training 1: Regional Awareness Training on Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems

Training Programme & Outline

Date: 26 – 28  August,  2019

Lomé, Togo
   

Background:

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

Course Content:

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

Description:

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:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the gaps in national and regional DRR practices and policies
  2. Identify the increasing incidence of transboundary floods in the region and the need to address the rising trend through harmonized national-regional policies
  3. Explain the concept of flood hazard mapping and its contribution to the development of early warning systems 

Module 1 Structure:

Session Session Objectives Teaching Method Training Material (delivered)
S1 Introduction to DRR Practice Research and Capacity Building in West Africa Presentation, interactive session, roundtable discussion Presentation slides
S2 Challenges in DRR policies, especially disharmony between national and regional policies Presentation, interactive session Presentation slides
S3 Trend in transboundary flood incidences and implications for national and regional policies Presentation, interactive session, roundtable discussion Presentation slides
S4 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

Description:

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:

  1. An understanding of existing systems in the region;
  2. Know what is required for setting up a FEWS from an organisational and data sharing perspective;
  3. Gain background information on hydrological modelling.
  4. Get a better idea of the roles of different national institutes, regional institutes and ECOWAS in flood forecasting, early warning and dissemination;
  5. 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:

Session Session Objectives Teaching Method Training Material (delivered)
S1 Gain knowledge on what flood forecasting is, what is important and what is already there. Presentation, interactive session Presentation slides
S2 Understand what is needed from a data and organization perspective for regional modelling Presentation, roundtable discussion Presentation slides
S3 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. Presentation slides
S4 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

Description:

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:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of GIT (GIS and remote sensing) in DRR (M)
  2. Identify, access, search, collect, organize and analyse geospatial data relevant to DRR (M) projects
  3. Recognize how to apply GIS methodology to perform flood risk assessment 

Module Structure:

Session Session Objectives Teaching Method Training Material (delivered)
S1 Introduction to GIT application for  DRR/M Presentation, interactive session Presentation slides
S2 Caste study 1: Gathering geospatial data for DRR/M projects Presentation, Interactive session, roundtable discussion Presentation slides
S3 Case study 2: Flood risk assessment Presentation, Interactive session Presentation slides
S4 Feedback and Course Evaluation

 

Evaluation form Evaluation form

 Focal Point: Luca Dell’ Oro and Charles Serele

Expected Participants and Prerequisites:

The course is designed to accommodate participants from a variety of backgrounds and professional experiences:

  • Early Career Permanent Technical Staff from Governmental Institutions:
  • Hydro-meteorological services,
  • 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

Language:

English with simultaneous translation into French language.

Software:

NA

Class Size:

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.

Training Venue:

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.

Institutions:

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.

Course Coordination:

UNITAR-UNOSAT and WASCAL

Opening Ceremony

Monday, 26.08.2019:

08:00-08:30: Registration

08:30-08:50: Welcome addresses (WASCAL, World Bank, ECOWAS, Togolese Government Representative).

Course Schedule

 Session No.              

        Time

Module 1

Monday, 26.08.2019

Module 2

Tuesday, 27.08.2019

Module 3

Wednesday, 28.08.2019 

S1

9:00-10:30

Introduction to DRR Practice Research and Capacity Building in West Africa (WASCAL) Introduction to Flood Forecast and Early

(HKV)

Introduction to Geospatial Information Technology

(UNITAR-UNOSAT)

S2

11:00-12:30

Challenges in DRR policies, especially disharmony between national and regional policies (WRI) FFEW Model Input Requirement and Data Availability

(HKV)

GIT applications for DRR – Case Study 1

(UNITAR-UNOSAT)

S3

13:30-15:00

Trend in transboundary flood incidences and implications for national and regional policies (WRI & FUTA) Hydrological Modelling of Flood Forecast

(HKV)

GIT applications for DRR – Case Study2

(UNITAR-UNOSAT)

S4

15:30-17:00

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) Early Warning Generation and Dissemination

(HKV)

Feedback and Course Evaluation

(ALL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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