Design of the Integrated Risk Information Platform for the Sahel Region
July 18, 2023
In response to the pressing need for enhanced climate and disaster risk data in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, a webinar was convened on 18 July 2023. Some 40 experts and stakeholders gathered at the invitation of the AGRHYMET Regional Centre and the UNDP Sahel Resilience Project to discuss the design of the regional Integrated Risk Information Platform benefiting the region and seven Sahelian countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
The region, characterized by its semi-arid climate, recurrent droughts, and associated flood disasters, faces severe challenges. These conditions are further exacerbated by rapid population growth, socio-political conflicts, and protracted violence, rendering the Sahel one of the world's most vulnerable and ecologically degraded areas.
Toward an Integrated Risk Information Platform in the Sahel Region
To address the complex challenges confronting the Sahel region, AGRHYMET and UNDP have arranged a series of regional workshops and assessments. Notably, in April 2022, a first regional workshop took place in Dakar, Senegal, drawing decision makers, national disaster risk management agencies, academic institutions, and regional organizations. The primary objective was to harmonize approaches for collecting, analyzing, and managing disaster data and risk information, as well as to define the nature, scope, and priorities of the disaster risk data and information management system.
Subsequent regional workshops were held in Burkina Faso and Niger in June and August 2022, respectively. These workshops focused on refining tools and methodologies for disaster risk data collection, database management, and the development of impact-based early warning system for early action, and transboundary risk management. Furthermore, national workshops were conducted in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, and Senegal from November 2022 to August 2023. These workshops facilitated the engagement of national stakeholders in the process of identifying, monitoring, and continuously assessing current and future risks and vulnerabilities.
Participants in the recent webinar gained valuable insights into the design of the Integrated Risk Information Platform and its potential utilization in Sahelian countries. Their feedback and contributions played a pivotal role in refining the platform to better align with the needs of stakeholders.
The platform offerings include standardizing data collection tools, aggregating data at the regional level, and providing relevant information to decision makers and stakeholders for decision support, particularly in disaster risk planning. These services are in line with AGRHYMET Regional Centre's mission, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the system.
Collaborative efforts among regional stakeholders and international partners are indispensable in enhancing resilience and mitigating vulnerabilities in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin. The webinar was a substantial stride toward bolstering risk-informed development in this ecologically challenged region.
Established in 1974 as a specialized agency of the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), AGRHYMET assumes a pivotal role in managing and disseminating data on hydrology, food security, agroclimatology, and natural resource management in the Sahel. In 2020, AGRHYMET's scope was expanded to encompass all 17 ECOWAS-CILSS Member States, fostering regional cooperation in data management and capacity building.
For more information, please contact:
Olivier Abayisenga, Disaster Risk Reduction Technical Specialist, Sahel Resilience Project
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