Mali has launched a new multi-hazard early warning system to strengthen resilience to climate risks and natural hazards.
The Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) project is part of a wider plan aiming to modernise the hydrological and meteorological services in Mali. The project will be implemented over a four year period and unite the national institutions for meteorology, hydrology, food security and civil protection.
Mali is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change; over the last 30 years more than 7 million people in Mali have directly suffered from flooding and drought events. In 2018 alone UN agencies are predicting 4 million will require humanitarian aid.
As one of the most drought prone countries in the world Mali could suffer significantly from climate change. Currently, two-thirds of Mali’s land area is classified as desert or semi desert, it is also particularly vulnerable to flooding as the dry land struggles to absorb heavy rains.
Drought and flooding costs Mali approximately $140 million each year.
As part of the project the government of Mali has secured resources to strengthen its flood warning systems along the Niger River and improve its flood bulletins. The Green Climate Fund is providing $22.75 million to support the project and the International Development Association will offer assistance to improve hydro-meteorological capabilities.
The project is also supported by Australia, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and will be implemented by the World Bank.
Salif Traoré, Mali’s Minister of Security and Civil Protection, commented on the project:
“It is time for Mali to adopt procedures and tools for rapid warning, which will complement existing early warning arrangements. We are particularly thinking of hazards such as floods, sandstorms and bushfires. The management of these risks requires concerted action between the institutions responsible for monitoring and forecasting, for coordinating the response, local authorities and citizens”
The Meteorological and Hydrological government sectors will receive support on how to improve monitoring and forecasting of hazards.
The Food Security and Civil Protection government sectors will be strengthened to improve response and warning times.
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Image credit: CREWS