Technical assistance mission to Sri Lanka on the use of space-based data and products for effective drought monitoring and early warning

Date: 
18 Dec 2013 to 20 Dec 2013
Location: 
Colombo, Kandy, Sri Lanka

As the pilot country of the Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning, a team from ESCAP recently visited Sri Lanka to offer efficient support and customized services to their work in this area.

The technical assistance mission comprised an expert team from the ESCAP secretariat, joined by representatives from China and Mongolia, and visited Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka, from 18 to 20 December 2013. The team had in-depth discussions with key officials from the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), ministries of agriculture, irrigation, Mahavalley Corporation, their disaster management centre and meteorology department.

It has been realized that there are critical gaps in information and knowledge with regards to the spatial extent of drought situations, soil moisture status, crop acreage and conditions during the South West monsoon season from June to October every year. Near real-time satellite (moderate resolution) satellite data and products hold the key to reducing these gaps and enhancing the preparedness of line ministries for managing drought more effectively. In this regard, the specialized capacity development training, as envisaged under the Drought Mechanism for the key officials, will be organized in early-2014 to enhance their capacity in using space applications more efficiently.