Open Floods Mapping in the DRC - Event Report

Saturday 6 March 2021
Online, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Europe, Middle East & Africa)
Kashindi Pierre, Disaster Risk Management in Africa

On Saturday 6th March 2021, the eleventh Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising hundreds of events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme.

This event received an Open Knowledge Foundation mini-grant thanks to support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Labs.

Photo of Open Floods Mapping in the DRC

How did your event celebrate open data?

The citizens in the city of Uvira in eastern Congo regions have been threatened by river and coastal floods. According to local reports, up to 100 metres of land has been invaded by Lake Tanganyika and thousands of houses were destroyed by the flooding. And due to the lack of risk information, this scenario could happen every year if no informative mechanism is set up locally.

This is why on the occasion of Open Data Day 2021, DRM Africa organised an event whose mission was to prevent vulnerable communities from river floods by providing risk information to exposed communities and the use of open data principles.

During the event, up to 10 participants including journalists and representatives from local counties were informed about risk areas and developed preventive measures for vulnerable communities.

Various activities dedicated to reducing the disaster risk through open data were carried including; • The flood risk analysis in the field and identification of infrastructures under floods risk • Creation and production of risk data • Communication of risk data through local radio stations

Various tools and techniques for data collection, analysis and communication have been used during the event including OpenStreetMap, Kobo Toolbox for remote data collection, etc.

After the project’s completion, infrastructures under risk were identified, counted and represented into datasets and spatial data in order to better inform exposed communities.

The event was animated by Kashindi Pierre, the CEO of DRM Africa.

Lessons learned from your event

During the event, we discovered various facts from vulnerable populations including:

• The lack of knowledge on the existence of the open data concept
• The lack of floods risk data that enable them better protect themselves
• The situation in the field is engraving more and more as houses are flooded once the rain falls

We also learned that communities need more data to respond to repetitive floods including; real time weather forecast data, capacity building on flood risk management, etc.

Why do you love Open Data Day?

As an initiative whose mission is to apply the open data concept in strengthening the community resilience to both natural and anthropic hazards, DRM Africa considers that Open Data Day is the opportunity for communities to leverage the power of open data in solving various pressing issues the world is facing now.

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