How DRIP Project is using Earth Observation to Mitigate Drought Conditions in Africa

The Drought Resilience Impact Platform or DRIP is an initiative that uses satellite-connected sensors to serve the most vulnerable regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

How DRIP Project is using Earth Observation to Mitigate Drought Conditions in Africa
Earth Observation to Mitigate Drought Conditions in Africa

How DRIP Project is using Earth Observation to Mitigate Drought Conditions in Africa

Water makes Earth a living planet. People who live in drought-prone regions or arid zones regularly face famines and crop-failure. The increasing frequency and severe drought conditions in regions like Africa demand a reliable solution to ensure water security. 

The Drought Resilience Impact Platform or DRIP is an initiative that uses satellite-connected sensors to serve the most vulnerable regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Regional Centre is hosting it for Mapping of Resources for Development, Kenya. The SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Hub provided its partnership for linking in-situ data collection tools, including borehole-well sensors. 

A Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNet) provided by NASA integrates the data with the food security forecasting. USAID, CU Boulder, and other partners are helping over 3 million people per year in the Horn of Africa.

CU Boulder's smartphone app LandPKS is specially designed to get the data. It encourages farmers and the ministry of agriculture to increase the yields. 

How Climate change-related stress affect water

The regions where the result of Climate change is reduced rainfall also experience low groundwater levels. People from such areas start migrating due to drought and poor agricultural outputs. DRIP project makes use of satellites, sensors, and land conditions to collect climate and rainfall data. This information is used to prepare a framework for predicting and preparing for droughts in the African regions.

The improved data service provides a safe and reliable platform to manage surface and groundwater. Maintaining groundwater systems and proper land use planning can make a huge difference to lives, agriculture, and the economy. 

This project is achieving its objectives by using the vast experience of NASA in climate change and earth sciences. The satellite imageries, mapping data, and geospatial knowledge can reduce drought emergencies and insecurity among the most marginalized East-African communities. 

How DRIP works

DRIP works to save each drop of water and make it available to the regions where it is needed. It combines stages like early detection & planning, protective groundwater management, and safety to drought-prone communities. The reactive, short assistance measures like water trucking are expensive and not reachable to everyone. On the other hand, innovative projects like DRIP direct adaptation responses and ensure smooth delivery of key services. 

DRIP is a combination of geospatial data sets, machine learning, localized temperature, rainfall, groundwater usage & demand data and land characteristics. It enables the government and agencies to maintain water systems. 

To preserve water in vulnerable regions, drought forecasting, surface & groundwater availability and crop yield estimates must be taken into account. DRIP combines all this data for forecasting and enhancing the existing services. 

The project is providing assistance in site selection of boreholes, maintenance of existing groundwater boreholes, and pre-positioning of water trucking. 

DRIP aims to help the Sub-Saharan communities of Africa to improve their drought resilience and water security. Deaths and malnutrition due to recurring drought have forced agriculturists and pastoralists to migrate from their homelands. The project will save millions of people and provide them with the life they deserve. 

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