Early in 2015, Malawi witnessed severe flood damage. Recuperation efforts are trying to get citizens back on their feet in new areas after hindrances to national development. The U.K. government, Met Office, NASA and Google created a partnership with the U.S. in June 2015 in order to ground exponential tactics in Africa to prepare for natural disasters.
To protect outside countries from weather-related disasters, on June 9, 2015 organizations met in Washington, D.C. to access, with more depth and analysis, the forecast and climate of poor nations. U.K.’s Met Office houses top scientists in weather research. The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with African scientists, U.K. universities and the Met Office to help create the first continental climate plan.
The plan is to help in-country capabilities and strengthen resilience. This project will help farmers plan ahead when droughts, floods and other storms are predicted. Governments and communities need help to adapt to certain practices and learn valuable information to protect their food supply.
In 2011, the U.K. improved its foreign aid capabilities to respond to disasters such as Malawi’s flood. Its government launched a proposal to increase its goal to help those in need in a timely manner.
It helped to better countries’ resilience by supplying resources, delivering technological advancements and sending experts in science and medicine. The U.K. also encouraged militaristic involvement when responding and created partnerships with China, Brazil, the Gulf States and various charities.
In 2012, DIFD announced at the Rio+20 Earth Summit that it would be improving extra support of small scale farmers. Agricultural workers need to find ways to adapt to climate change, build storage units and create stronger crops.
The people of Malawi rely heavily on agriculture to survive. The flood destroyed 158,147 acres of farmland, and approximately 230,000 people were displaced after the storm. Crops were no longer usable, and homes were swept away.
Yet President Peter Mutharika predicted that US$51 million was needed to uplift the country to its former self. UNICEF had sent $9.3 million for an emergency response unit to instill clean water and sanitation amenities to fight disease.
The number of natural disasters has tripled in the past 30 years. Poor countries are especially vulnerable due to slow recovery after disaster strikes. Malawi’s flood closed roads, turned off power supplies and made going to school hazardous.
DIFD suggested that farmers need to construct much sturdier facilities to hold their food. The department understood that monitoring the weather was equally as important in order to prepare for disaster. Monitoring and reporting are essential in the process of preparing for change. The DFID hoped to benefit 6 million farms in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Google will also give one petabyte (or 1,000 terabytes) of Internet storage data housing satellite screenshots and weather analytics. All organizations under this new, life-saving mission have invested a total amount of $31 million. USAID is supplying $10 million, and DFID has committed to $10 million as well.
After the devastation in Malawi, it is time to incubate preparation strategies. The storms may be unstoppable, but their impact can be much more minimal. The best emergency response begins before disaster hits. With upgraded technologies stationed in target areas, countries will be able to organize and plan well in advance.
– Katie Groe