Throughout Africa, farmers experience droughts as well as heavy downpours, causing flooding of their land and damage to their crops. Due to climate change, the intensity and length of the dry seasons as well as the timing and intensity of the rainy seasons are becoming more and more unpredictable.
Over the past few years, the Uganda National Meteorology Authority (UNMA) has registered improvements in weather predictions. But the situation in Uganda has not improved and reliable and actionable weather and crop data have became more of a necessity in order to help improve agricultural production and food security.
Access to robust meteorological, hydrological and other Earth observation based information, such as current observations and future forecasts, will enable better-informed decisions to be taken. It will also enable risks and their associated humanitarian and financial losses to be reduced, and the effects of climate change to be mitigated.
While Uganda’s National Meteorological and Hydrological Services continue to increase their capacity to process environmental data, develop forecasting models and provide relevant information to decision-makers in Uganda’s public and private sector, DFMS provides the decision-makers with reliable data to help them make better-informed decisions.
DFMS is a suite of products that take information from remote sensing satellites and sensors on Earth and turn it into information that will enable environmental decision-makers to take better-informed decisions for agricultural, environmental and water management activities.
Multiple streams of environmental data gained from Earth observation satellites and from sensors on the ground, in the water and in the air are fed into DFMS where they are processed and combined with hydrological and meteorological forecasting models and data archives.
The resulting data products are accessed by trained users via a secure, web-based user interface that allows them to display those products on maps and in graphs, increasing their knowledge of current, future and past conditions.
Those who have to make decisions for environmental and agricultural activities can now base those decisions on the well-informed knowledge of hydrologists, meteorologists, agronomists and other specialists who use DFMS.
Using the available communication channels, informed decisions and advice can be conveyed to the farming communities, who are the true beneficiaries of DFMS.
DFMS is provided as an online service, using an Internet-connected device like a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Once logged into the DFMS system, the user can access the complete suite of information products and create a personalised dashboard with the products for all geographical areas of interest.
The contribution DFMS makes to the mitigation of the impacts of droughts and floods is twofold: by forecasting the probability of droughts or floods occurring, preventive actions can be taken with greater confidence; and by monitoring ongoing drought or flood conditions, direct responses can be more effective.