On February 13, UNESCO-IHE is organizing a Mapping Party for the Mara River Basin in Kenya. Together with participants at ITC, Wageningen University and Upande (Kenya), we will map an area that currently suffers from famine due to persisting drought.
Importance of mapping vulnerable areas
Good mapping material is essential for strengthening vulnerable places around the world. Places which are suffering from epidemics, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty or environmental problems, for example. Mapping helps governments to make better (policy) decisions and aid organizations to offer better assistance because they have more knowledge in advance about medical activities and the distribution of needed relief supplies. In cases of disaster, they are able to react better and quicker!
The Mara is such a vulnerable place. Currently, the area suffers from droughts and the local Masai communities have difficulties in feeding their families. During the Mapping Party, volunteers will map roads and buildings in the Mara River Basin, based on satellite images, on OpenStreetMap, a detailed, open-source map of the world. The maps produced during this Mapathon, combined with knowledge, tools, and data from the MaMaSe program and Ground Truth 2.0, will improve Integrated Water Resources Management in the Mara River Basin and prevent famine in the future.
We invite everybody to become an ‘online volunteer’ for a night. You don’t have to have any experience; it is easy to learn and we have trained experts available to help you on your way. Bring your laptop and mouse and join the initiative.
Missing Maps is an initiative of the Red Cross, MSF and other NGOs aiming to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world. Learn more about the project here.
You can get involved as an individual here, even after the Mapping party has ended, or if you are unable to attend. The Missing Maps organizers will let you know by email when there are tasks that need doing – or when there are other mapping parties, like this one, being organized.