Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.
SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa in collaboration with the Applied Science Team (AST) from the University of Oklahoma, under the Water and Disaster service area held a two days stakeholders training aimed at solving flash floods.
The training on application of Ensemble Framework for Flash Flood Forecasting (EF5) was building on a previous training held in February 2017 on the understanding of the EF5 framework for flood monitoring.
The training was officially opened by Prof. John Kiema, Director, Technical Services Directorate, RCMRD. While making his remarks, Prof. Kiema emphasized the importance of the advanced training workshop especially since the region facing a rainy season. He urged participants to utilize the skills imparted for the well-being of the citizens in Kenya and the region.
The Ensemble Framework for Flash Flood Forecasting (EF5), is a hydrological modeling software that allows users, including non-hydrologists, to monitor and forecast hydrological conditions like floods and droughts. The training involves introductions to hydrological concepts, GIS techniques, remote sensing of hydrological quantities, and the use of hydrological model output for various tasks.
It is anticipated that users will be familiar with basic hydrological and modeling concepts by the end of the training, will be able to install and use the EF5 model for forecasting on river basins they are working in, and will be able to understand how GIS software can be used to help hydrological analysis.
The trainers hoped that the advanced workshop would make users and stakeholders familiar with EF5 and hydrological modeling for when a real-time system, using the same software, is eventually deployed at RCMRD for the entire East Africa region. ‘We also anticipate soliciting user feedback on the training, the modeling software, desired features, and future needs that could be addressed with our system or with similar systems’ said Dr. Race Clark of University of Oklahoma, and one of the three facilitators.
Stella Rotich a lecturer at Kenya Water Institute said she had understood the content well and can therefore transfer the knowledge to her students while looking at collaborating with RCMRD.
On her part Laura Holtzman, one of the three facilitators urged the trainees to utilize knowledge and skills acquired and assured that the training materials would be availed online.
The training participants were picked from various institutions in Kenya dealing with Water Resources Management and disaster response. The prerequisite for this training is that you must have some basic knowledge on hydrology and the hydrological cycle. The facilitators included Laura Holtzman, Dr. Zachary Flamig and Dr. Race Clark