Ver Angola


Angola launches NASA-funded project to monitor drought in the south of the country

Over the next three years, Angola will have a 550,000 dollars project financed by NASA, the US space agency, to support policies to combat drought in the south of the country.


The project called "Support System for Policies to Combat Drought in Southern Angola", launched this Thursday in Luanda, aims to collect, organize and share systematic and permanent information for mitigating the effects of the drought, which has checking for several years in the south of the country.

The Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Technologies, Pascoal Fernandes said that the project is an initiative of the information technologies sector, with the aim of contributing significantly to other projects and programs that the Executive has carried out, in the sense of mitigate and significantly reduce the impact on populations resulting from drought situations.

The official stressed that the south of Angola has been experiencing cyclical periods of drought for several decades, and in 2019 there was the worst drought in the last 40 years, with the rainfall 65 percent below normal.

"As a result, more than one million and 300 thousand individuals, in the provinces of Cunene, Huíla and Namibe, were affected by the drought, with financial losses, but not only, for farmers and livestock breeders, as well as the worsening of social problems for the general population", he stressed.

According to Fernandes, the main benefits of the project will be information on the state of water resources, the location of population settlements most vulnerable to the effects of the drought in the south of the country and the identification of ideal places for the implementation of structuring projects.

In 2019, the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and the Massachuttes Institute of Technology launched the pilot project to quantify the drought problem in southern Angola.

Speaking to the press, the project researcher for the United States of America, Danielle Wood, said that the project will be implemented in cooperation with local teams, namely the National Space Program Management Office (GGPEN) and American specialists.

"We are going to share the methodologies, the tools, with government institutions", stressed Danielle Wood, adding that the work will be carried out virtually, as happened at the time of the covid-19 pandemic.

According to Danielle Wood, the project will create a 'site' to map data on the drought and its impact on populations in southern Angola.

The researcher said that this project does not have the support of the Angolan satellite Angosat-2, which could happen with Angosat-3, an observation satellite, for data collection.

Wood highlighted other similar work already carried out in Angola, in the period of covid-19, in order to improve the management of the pandemic, with analyzes and maps, namely on the effects on Angolan mobility with social distancing.

"We made an observation of Luanda during the pandemic, from March 2021, we mapped the ships in the bay of Luanda, we also made measurements of the air quality during social distance and we also compared the number of fires in Angola before and during the covid-19, the years 2018, 2019 and 2020," she revealed.


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