Angola gets one more tool to fight drought

Luanda – The fight against drought in southern region of Angola is reinforced with the new satellite data collection and transmission system on water resources and on identifying of the most vulnerable population settlements in the country of today.

The Support System for Policies to Combat Drought in Southern Angola project, operates with three US satellites specialised in soil radiography, particularly in the assessment of water resources.

The USD 550 million-project is funded by the American Space Agency (NASA).

The three-year project is aimed to provide the Angolan Government with data on the state of water resources and the location of the drought-affected population.

The use of space technology will allow this system to provide information on the ideal locations for the implementation of structuring projects, such as Cafú canal in Cunene.

Therefore, the “Support System for Policies to Combat Drought in Southern Angola” will serve as a source of information to support decision-making on policies in the short, medium and long term.

Addressing a presentation ceremony of the project, the manager, the American Danielle Wood, said the project is underway.

The manager added that it is being developed with Angolan staff, particularly from the National Space Programme Management Office (GGPEN).

The American specialist said that a software (snap) will provide data that will generate accurate information that will help solve the problem of cyclical drought in the southern region of the country.

In turn, Osvaldo Porto, manager of GGPEN project, said that in this project it will not be possible to use Angosat2 due to its characteristics focused on telecommunications.

“We are not going to use Angosat2 because it is an exclusive telecommunications satellite and not an Earth observation satellite. For this purpose, remote sensor satellites are being used that gravitate in an orbit lower than that of telecommunications”, noted the specialist.

In turn, the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Technologies, Pascoal Alé Fernandes, considered the project an important platform for the collection, organisation and sharing of systematic and permanent information.

“This project is an initiative of the ICT sectors, in partnership with the US engineering institute “Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which joins other initiatives of the Angolan Government to significantly reduce the impact resulting from the cyclical drought situations, particularly in the southern part of Angola.

The official said in 2019 Angola suffered the worst drought in the last 40 years.

According to him, the pluviometer index was below 65% of normal levels, leaving more than 1,300 people from the provinces of Cunene, Huíla and Namibe, with high financial losses coupled with exacerbation of the social problems of the local populations.

Source: Angola Press News Agency