Here in Ethiopia we are restructuring and strengthening the Early
Warning System (EWS) at the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
Commission. The Ethiopian EWS is among the oldest operational systems in
Africa. Data on crop and livestock condition is reported on a monthly
basis from around 500 districts (Woredas) to the central office. Because
of the infrastructure and communication problems the data is often
delayed before it reaches the center. This is also true for
meterological data at the National Meteorological Services Authority.
Recognising the problem the government and some donors have agreed to
enhance the data collection process and communications aspect. How can
this be achieved? Is there any African country that has experience of
this? I would like to share your views. An important consideration in
the whole issue is that of sustainability. The system we develop must
run even when the donors disappear.