Disaster Management



SERVIR integrates satellite observations and predictive models with other geographic information (sensor and field-based) to monitor and forecast ecological changes and respond to natural disasters.  This evolving regional visualization and monitoring platform is being established in Africa to improve scientific knowledge and decision-making in a range of application areas (e.g., biodiversity conservation, disaster management, agricultural development, climate change adaptation, etc.). In 2008, NASA and CATHALAC partnered with the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) based in Nairobi, Kenya, and together they began setting up SERVIR’s East Africa node.  The SERVIR-Africa project is building upon RCMRD’s existing strengths, and augmenting RCMRD’s data management and training capability.  Efforts complement RCMRD’s core mission and provide a springboard for the development of applications customized for RCMRD’s member states.

South Africa

Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS)

AFIS is the first near real time operational satellite fire monitoring system of its kind in Africa. The main aim of AFIS is to provide information regarding the prediction, detection and assessment of fires using Remote Sensing and GIS technology through an automated near real time Web GIS portal. AFIS forms part of the Wide Area Monitoring Information System (WAMIS) which aims to deliver relevant sensor based information (sensor web) to the local and regional user community in support of effective decision-making in the monitoring of the Southern African environment.

S.A. Weather and Disaster Information Service (SAWDIS)

This service consists of amateur radio operators and private citizens around the country who volunteer the use of their weather and radio stations, weather and disaster photographs, data and information for educational and research purposes. The SAWDIS is a non profit organization that renders a free community based service to who ever needs the information.


The Complex Emergency Database (CE-DAT)

CE-DAT is a database of mortality and malnutrition rates – the most commonly used public health indicators of the severity of a humanitarian crisis. Field agencies use mortality and nutrition indicators to identify and measure the severity of needs in order to prioritize human and financial resources. These indicators have also been shown to be useful in monitoring the extent to which the relief system is meeting the needs of vulnerable populations and thus the overall impact and effectiveness of the relief system. Today, with over 2,000 surveys and 20,000 health indicators, CE-DAT serves as a unique source of field data for monitoring the health status of conflict-affected populations and for the production of trend analyses, impact briefings and policy recommendations.