ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE German government has pumped about €4 million in a project to conduct research in climate change and sustainable land management use in Zambia.
National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) technical expert Michael Phiri said the project is aimed at providing evidence-based advice for decision-makers and stakeholders to improve people’s livelihood in the region.
The project called Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land-use (SASSCAL) also aims to contribute to the creation of an African knowledge-based society.
Mr Phiri said in an interview recently that the funds will address challenges caused by climate change such as droughts that impact negatively on agricultural productivity and food security.
The funding will also help NRSC, the University of Zambia and the Metrological Department implement various tasks under SASSCAL.
NRSC’s mandate is to coordinate activities in remote sensing, ensure the acquisition, processing and delivery of remotely-sensed data to educational, public and private-owned institutions, including the public.
“The SASSCAL project mainly deals with climate change, water and adaption. It is well-funded by the German government and different institutions have different tasks.
“Recently, the German government renewed its commitment in this project and they have pumped in €4 million, which will go to different tasks in the country,” Mr Phiri said.
Under the project, the centre is expected to do seamless land cover mapping, produce records of national resources and land-use using remote sensing technology.
He also said that NRSC is implementing the drought assessment project, which is coming to an end next month.
“We plan on up-scaling this project into food security as well as crop monitoring. The drought project is being executed at a cost of about K140,000 and it started in 2015,” Mr Phiri said.
He said the lack of adequate funding is limiting the centre’s ability to conduct more research.