Africa’s development, climate and resilience agendas are inextricably linked. Statistics show that about 90% of all natural disasters on the continent are weather and climate driven. Hydro- meteorological disasters that include floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, lightning strikes and landslides continue to cause heavy damages and loss of livelihoods and lives. With the adventof climate change, these disasters will likely only increase in frequency and intensity. The economic cost of recorded weather related disasters in Africa in the last 20 years is conservatively estimated at 10 Billion USD given widespread under-reporting of losses. Climate change alters weather patterns and causes an increased number of severe weather and extreme climate events, impacting heavily on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.
It is against this backdrop that the HIGHWAY – HIGH impact Weather lAke sYstem – project will address the need for improved, accurate early warning system, which is co-produced between scientists and users, to prevent deaths and damage due to severe convection and strong winds on Lake Victoria and in the East African Region. HIGHWAY aims to establish a Regional Early Warning System (EWS) for the East Africa Region by working through mandated institutions from the international, regional and national levels to ensure the Regional EWS is effective and sustainable. These institutions include NMHSs in East Africa, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda; the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and the East African Community (EAC). The programme will be the driving force for triggering the Lake Victoria Basin into economic development.
The expected outcome of the HIGHWAY project is increased access to and use of co-designed and sustainable early warning systems to inform regional, national, sub-national and community level planning and decision-making in the East African region.
The outcome indicatiors are:
The expected impact of the project is an increased use of weather information to improve resilience and reduce the loss of life and damage to property supporting sustainable economic development in the East African Region.
The impact indicators are: