The Global Logistics Cluster, led by the World Food Programme (WFP), initiated the Logistics Field-Based Preparedness Project (FBPP) in Malawi in late 2019.

The FBPP aims to create a common, sustainable approach to supply chain preparedness, providing the tools to help governments, national responders, and the private sector to be ready to face emergencies. This initiative is built upon localisation and the skills transfer needed to take ownership of humanitarian logistics operations and reach vulnerable communities during sudden-onset emergencies. Through the support of dedicated, in-country Logistics Cluster staff members, the project is focused on enhancing coordination, collaboration and knowledge sharing.

In March 2022, the Global Logistics Cluster Support Team supported the ‘Flood Risk Modelling and Mapping’ workshop co-hosted by the World Food Programme in Malawi and Cloud to Street. Over 30 participants from different humanitarian organisations, including actors from the government who work on flood disaster response, attended the session with the objective of enhancing humanitarian capacity for future emergency responses in the country.

Building on the previous work with the Government to identify priority areas in the national logistics preparedness action plan, and the need to leverage early warning tools and other information management platforms during emergency preparedness and response planning, this workshop served as another key step in WFP’s journey of providing technical advice/support to national disaster risk management. Patrick Millslamptey, Supply Chain Officer – World Food Programme Malawi.

During the workshop, participants had the chance to explore the utilisation of high-resolution and very high-resolution satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to conduct flood modelling and mapping within Malawi. Recent modelling of floods (including Tropical Storm Ana which hit Malawi in January) and the associated impact of such events on local communities and assets was showcased and identified as fundamental to support the government to pursue early actions and identify priority regions for stock pre-positioning, while also helping WFP to assess the vulnerability of health infrastructure, roads, and communities to severe flooding. Moreover, in the event of an emergency, the high-resolution mapping will be useful to identify the extent of flooding and the size of impacted populations, providing humanitarian actors with immediately available information prior to ground assessments being possible.

Photo Credit: Patrick Millslamptey/ WFP

This is a massive tool. Efforts by different actors should be embraced to keep on improving it. Happy to be part of the team. Gift Mwembe, MEAL Manager, Concern Worldwide.

During the workshop, the attendees shared different ideas to enhance access to this tool for new actors across organisations, such as training sessions on how to use satellite information for contingency planning in the dry season; overlaying satellite information with health point datasets to report which health facilities are impacted by flooding on a daily/weekly basis; and improvement of logistics ability to access flood-affected areas with near-real time information on flood obstructions to roads, bridges and overpasses.

If you wish to learn more about the FBPP project in Malawi, visit the dedicated webpage here.