Kenyan official calls on geospatial experts to help solve climate-related disasters in Africa

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Kenya on Thursday requested geospatial experts to help solve water conflicts, and weather and climate-related disasters in Africa.

Gideon Mungaro, chief administrative secretary, Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning said that water is a key resource whose use and administration will determine development, sustainability and resilience of our people’s livelihoods.

“We are requesting that geospatial experts help solve some of the major international conflicts that relate to the management of water resources,” Mungaro said during the opening of the 53rd governing council of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi.

He said that geospatial experts at the RCMRD are capable of fostering development of amicable solutions around water governance, access and use.

“We need to ensure that we keep accurate data on land use conversions to be adequately used for the regional socio-economic development,” he added.

The official noted that it is time geospatial experts help develop tools to help oversee unchecked illegal logging of forests in the continent,” he said.

“I implore all of us to take time to think of the long-term strategies that can collaboratively be implemented to mitigate losses associated with weather and climate change disasters,” he noted.

Mungaro told delegates who are drawn from the 20 member states that the impact of land use and land cover change requires trans-boundary efforts.

RCMRD is a key partner in the provision of geospatial data and tools to guide the development of spatial plans, which inform the sustainable utilization of land in the member states.

Nicholas Muraguri, principal secretary, Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning observed that sustainable development requires proper land management that should be on the agenda of all member states.

Muraguri urged geospatial experts to provide expert advice on spatially explicit information relevant for guiding the sustainable achievement of Kenya’s ‘Big 4’ development agenda.

“The principal concern of any country in the world is to define and better understand the interrelationship between the population, environment, natural resources and economic development, for purpose of realizing sustainable development,” he added.

Andre Nonguierma, chief, geo-information science and technologies, Geospatial Information Management Systems at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said that the UN agency is building upon multifaceted initiatives at the institutional, technical and financial levels to help regional countries on issues related to remote sensing and geospatial technologies and their applications to emergencies and key development challenges.

“We are working on joint provision of services and technical assistance to member states, regional and international organizations having realized that development challenges cannot be met without maps,” Nonguierma added. Enditem

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