The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), through the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa (SERVIR E&SA) Project and the Ministry of Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) co-developed and piloted a streamflow monitoring and forecasting system to support river flow monitoring information for water resources planning, allocation and management in Rufiji and Wami-Ruvu basins. This was showcased to stakeholders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during a two-day meeting with stakeholders in the earth observation field and the general public through the media. The event was held on April 25 and 26, 2022.
The objective of the RCMRD/SERVIR open day was to showcase and demonstrate the progress and potentials of two water resources monitoring tools that is Streamflow monitoring and forecasting in Rufiji and Wami-Ruvu River Basins and the Water Quality Monitoring from Space for Inland Water Bodies (i.e., Lake Tanganyika, Victoria and Malawi).
In addition, the SERVIR E&SA showcased project also co-developed a water quality monitoring tool for inland water bodies including Lake Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika. The development of these tools and services was conceived through consultation, needs assessment, stakeholders’ engagement, collaboration and capacity building with the relevant institutions in Tanzania. The development of the tools leveraged collaborative partnership and support of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) and the Basin Water Boards among other stakeholders. These collaborations support, complement and strengthen the existing efforts of the government to provide a complete picture of water resources assessment, allocation and planning information to help Tanzania make and align policy decisions, create increased awareness, support and spur momentum from policy makers and water users, and provide access to best practices, knowledge, experts and technology.
Photo1. Participants from Tanzania's water related services at the kickoff ceremony held in late April 2022
The piloted streamflow monitoring system leveraged the in-situ measurements and freely available Earth Observation and satellite products as well as open-source hydrological model to generate the much need data for day-to-day basin operations. The water quality monitoring tool, known as the Satellite-based Inland Water Resource Monitoring and Information Application enables the research and fisheries institutions to monitor water quality of lakes using satellite information from space, and thus understand sections of the lake that are polluted, or are receiving high levels of sediments from the catchment.
Presiding over the launch of the open days, the Assistant Director of Mapping Services in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Housing Development Elizabeth Mrema called on the community to intensify efforts to ensure they care for the environment, including water sources, to help avoid various disasters, including drought.
Photo2:Assistant Director of Mapping Services in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Housing Development Elizabeth Mrema was the Chief Guest.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam to the environmental and other earth observation experts from Tanzania which is one of the RCMRD founder member States, she noted the importance using mapping technology to assess water sources in the member States and beyond. "We are partnering with the RCMRD headquartered in Kenya as Tanzania is one of the 20 member States of the Centre since inception in 1975. This Centre provides training based on land resources including water, land, mountains and forests,” the Assistant Director of Mapping Services said. This two-day workshop will help identify advantages, challenges and opportunities that have arisen in the implementation of the two tools and provide away forward on how the tools could be improved and to ensure key stakeholders are involved in the conservation of land resources including natural resources especially water sources.
On his part, Thematic Lead -Water and Water Related Disasters at RCMRD Calvince Warah pictured below, said that the Centre through the SERVIR E&SA project had already conducted experiments on the Rufiji River and other areas and identified challenges that led to the depletion of existing land resources and that RCMRD is helping Tanzania to find solutions.
Photo3:Thematic Lead -Water and Water Related Disasters at RCMRD Calvince Warah
RCMRD User Engagement Lead, Kenneth Kasera said that the purpose and purpose of conducting the workshop in the country was to showcase the services that RCMRD was undertaking with Tanzania stakeholders in the earth observation field under one of its projects, SERVIR E&SA.
Kasera said, “the tools and services for this pilot project that has lasted six years will now be displayed and discussed together so that we can come up with joint initiatives to advise our governments on what to do so that various natural resources including water sources can be taken care of.”
At the same time, RCMRD through SERVIR Eastern and Southern project also developed a mentorship programme. The first University mentorship was launched at with Ardhi University in Dare salaam. The mentorship works by engaging university and college students to better understand Earth Observation in resource management and promoting STEM uptake within RCMRD member states. The Programme rides on collaboration with the universities through already established Memorandum of understanding between RCMRD and the Universities or Colleges.
Photo 4:Official launch of the RCMRD, SERVIR E&SA Ardhi University Mentorship Program
Photo 5 Prof. Evaristo Joseph Liwa (PhD), is the Vice Chancellor of Ardhi University launched the mentorship at the University.
Photo 6:The Ardhi University chapter Kuza Club Chairperson Faustus Muki presenting the constitution drafted by the club.