Pastoral early warning and early response systems in the greater horn of Africa (workshop proceedings)

Pastoral early warning and early response systems in the greater horn of Africa (workshop proceedings)

Developing cross-border linkages and encouraging lesson-sharing are key for effective disaster mitigation in pastoralist areas

This report summarises the proceedings of a regional workshop on Pastoral Early Warning and Response Systems, held in Mombasa, Kenya from November 13-15, 2001. The workshop was set up in response to the recent drought emergencies in the Greater Horn of Africa, and concerns over the effectiveness of humanitarian emergency management in the region.

The workshop aimed to examine how existing early warning systems and response systems could be improved and brought together a wide range of practitioners with the aim of sharing information for two specific purposes: to make recommendations and develop action plans.

A number of issues for consideration in future planning arose from the workshop, including a recognintion of the need for:

  • strengthening government institutions responsible for early warning and response in pastoralist areas
  • taking measures to ensure the sustainability of EWS during the design and implementation phases
  • encouraging EWS practitioners to move beyond data collection and become active advocates, lobbying decision makers wherever necessary
  • ensuring that contingency plans are backed up with effective response mechanisms
Other recommendations include the need for:
  • developing and strengthening cross-border linkages
  • encouraging lesson-sharing
  • promoting the development of pastoralist fora
  • developing common reporting between early warning units to provide consensus reports
  • creating a regional database of contacts
  • establish a regional working group to provide continuity from this workshop
  • strengthening coping mechanisms at the community level
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