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 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. The system was showcased in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during a two-day workshop (RCMRD/SERVIR Open Day) with stakeholders who have interests in the use of Earth observation data for water resources monitoring. 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 potential of two water resources monitoring tools, that is, the Streamflow Monitoring and Forecasting in Rufiji and Wami-Ruvu River Basins and the Inland Satellite-based Water quality Indicators Monitor (iSWIM) tool for Lakes Tanganyika, Victoria and Malawi.
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 partnerships and support from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) and the Basin Water Boards among other stakeholders. These collaborations complement and strengthen the existing efforts of the government to provide a complete picture of water resources assessment, allocation and planning. The information derived from the tools will help Tanzania to make and align policy decisions, create increased awareness, and support policy makers and water users, in their quest to provide access to knowledge, experts, technology and best practices in water resources management.
Participants from Tanzania's water related services at the kickoff ceremony held in late April 2022
Presiding over the launch of the open days, the Assistant Director of Mapping Services in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Housing Development, Ms. Elizabeth Mrema called on the community to intensify efforts to ensure they embraced modern tools for data collection such as satellite remote sensing, which facilitate evidence-based decisions on environmental protection, including water sources, to help mitigate the effects of various disasters, including drought. Ms. Mrema underscored the importance of using mapping technologies to monitor water resources in Tanzania, and emphasized that the country was partnering with RCMRD in a number of initiatives. She also informed the meeting that the Centre provided training courses on land resources monitoring (including water, land, mountains and forests). This two-day workshop helped to identify opportunities, challenges and best practices that have arisen during the implementation of the two tools and provided a way forward on how the tools could be improved to ensure key stakeholders have the requisite skills and technologies for conservation of natural resources, especially water.
Assistant Director of Mapping Services in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Housing Development Elizabeth Mrema was the Chief Guest.
The SERVIR E&SA Thematic Lead for Water and Water-related Disasters at RCMRD, Mr. Calvince Warah noted 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 water resources and that RCMRD was supporting Tanzania’s experts to find solutions. The SERVIR E&SA User Engagement Lead, Mr. Kenneth Kasera added that the purpose of holding the Open Day in the country was to showcase the services that RCMRD/ SERVIR was co-implementing in collaboration with Tanzania stakeholders in the Earth observation field. Kasera explained that “the data and information from the 2 services to be presented in Tanzania would foster discussions and recommendations meant to advise the government on evidence-based courses of action for conservation of water resources in the country.”
Thematic Lead -Water and Water Related Disasters at RCMRD Calvince Warah
At the same time, RCMRD/SERVIR E&SA project launched a student mentorship program at Ardhi University in Dar es salaam. The mentorship program works by engaging university and college students to better understand Earth observation technologies, data and tools important in resource management, and thus promote STEM uptake within RCMRD member states. The programme rides on collaboration with the universities through an already established Memorandum of Understanding between RCMRD and the universities or colleges.
Official launch of the RCMRD, SERVIR E&SA Ardhi University Mentorship Program
Prof. Evaristo Joseph Liwa (PhD), is the Vice Chancellor of Ardhi University launched the mentorship at the University.
The Ardhi University chapter Kuza Club Chairperson Faustus Muki presenting the constitution drafted by the club.
The media participated in the Open Day in Tanzania. They Tanzania included: The Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation, Mwananchi (Nation Media Group), Azam TV, Independent Television Limited (ITV) an Associate Company of IPP Limited, Island TV, Bilikwija Youtube Channel, Sayari Online, Safina Radio, Mchuzi TV, http://fullhabari.blogspot.com/ and Hope Channel.
Below is media coverage from the events: