Author: Christine Mhone is the GIS Projects Leader at mHub, Malawi’s first technology and innovation hub. She was nominated by mHub to represent Malawi at the first State of the Map Africa conference in Kampala, Uganda in 2017. Christine has continued to lead the Malawi Mappers community in adding data to OpenStreetMap. Christine can be… Read more »
To meet the needs of the Government of Malawi, GFDRR asked Kartoza to conduct a three-day training on InaSAFE in Salima. With a total of 14 participants in attendance, there were staff from different government departments including the Department of Disaster Affairs, Surveys department, UNIMA-Polytechnic, Physical planning, and Department of Land Resources.
OpenDRI and RASOR are working together to develop multi-hazard risk assessments for Malawi’s lakeshore region. A workshop was held in July 2016 to deliver the consolidated results of flood risk analyses conducted over the past year and to outline the RASOR platform process and procedure.
The Government of Malawi (GoM) with the support of the World Bank has been developing the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) with the aim of supporting evidence-based and innovative solutions to better plan, mitigate, and prepare for natural disasters and particularly for the damaging floods that occur yearly.
Through the Open Data for Resilience project, The World Bank, GFDRR, and other partners are supporting efforts to map areas at risk before a disaster strikes.
•In the six months following the April 2015 earthquake, OpenStreetMap data for Nepal was accessed by more than 3,300 users using a GFDRR platform that tailored the data for response and recovery.
•Urban areas around the world, including cities in Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and Bangladesh, are a major focus of mapping efforts.
When I first heard about OpenStreetMap (OSM) – the so called Wikipedia of maps, built by volunteers around the world – I was skeptical of its ability to scale, usability in decision making, and ultimate longevity among new ideas conceived in the digital age. Years later, having working on many disaster risk management initiatives across the globe, I can say that I am a passionate advocate for the power of this community. And I continue to be struck by the power of one small initiative like OSM that brings together people across cultures and countries to save lives. It is more than a technology or a dataset, it’s a global community of individuals committed to making a difference.
People may be surprised to find that the maps we take for granted in metropolitan areas of the developed world may be completely absent, vastly out of date, or pay-per-view in the developing world. Imagine an urban area without a transportation network, government agencies without access to the location of their assets (schools, health facilities, etc), or even a map without village names. This is the reality for many of the countries most vulnerable to disaster risk. Now, imagine this urban area facing an unprecedented crisis brought by flooding, an earthquake, a pandemic – think about the challenges of planning a response.
Citizens recently participated in a mapping exercise to provide data for early flood preparation in Malawi’s vulnerable districts. Mapping is the next step in the launch of the open source geospatial data platform in Malawi, providing vital information on natural disasters to district departments. More community engagement results in a clearer understanding of risks and disaster preparedness.
From Indonesia to Nepal, Haiti to Malawai, community members armed with smartphones and GPS systems are contributing to some of the most extensive and versatile maps ever created, helping inform policy and better prepare their communities for disaster risk.