A call has been made for African countries to develop and adopt advanced technologies that monitor events such as drought which continue to recur in the region due to factors related to climate change and variability.

The prolonged and frequent droughts in Southern Africa due to climate change and other factors present significant challenges to agriculture, food security and water resources management.

It is against this background that a call has been made for countries to adopt and make use of drought monitoring and early warning systems both at national and community levels in order to warn citizens to prepare for impending drought conditions.

The call was made on the sidelines of the presentation of pilot survey results on the use of the African drought monitoring system in Southern Africa.

“It is important to train member states to use drought monitoring systems up to community level as many are not making use of the new technology,” UNESCO Senior Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences, Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng said.

Drought monitoring remains challenging in Africa due to unreliable monitoring networks and the inability to provide detailed and relevant information for drought assessment. Currently, Southern Africa is still battling to recover from the 2015-2016 El Niño induced drought, which affected nearly 40 million people