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Forecasting and early warning of drought in Africa

Drought and the possible increase of drought events due to climate change could have a severe impact on Africa, unless the continent can predict and mitigate related disasters. As such, the EU is supporting the development of early warning systems and response strategies in the region.

Climate Change and Environment

The Dewfora project has established that at-risk areas in Africa often focus more on drought relief efforts than on adapting to the risk. But both strategies are important and the project aims to provide solutions where existing capacities or resources are lacking. The team have devised a risk-based approach for establishing and mapping drought vulnerability and hazards. In addition, they are developing high resolution predictions of future climate scenarios, which project a drier southern Africa and wetter eastern Africa. Researchers are in the process of drafting a framework for the improvement of early drought warning systems, which should be completed during the second half of the project. It is hoped that through close collaboration among scientists, water management agencies and decision makers, the project results will inform policies. Similar African initiatives have been brought in to achieve these goals and links have been established with related Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects. The team have also participated in major events, including the COP17 conference in South Africa and the 2012 World Water Forum in France. To engage the public, and with the hope of creating a lasting impact, Dewfora will also develop training courses and a YouTube movie once all the project results are in.

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