HARISSA: Natural HAzards, RISks and Society in Africa: developing knowledge and capacities
Experience in recent years has taught us that, in Central Africa, natural hazards and the associated risks, although still poorly studied, have a significant negative impact on development.
Find here the first Newsletter of the HARISSA project!
HARISSA's long-term overall objective is to contribute to reducing the incidence of natural hazards and associated risks in Central Africa and in particular in the western branch of the East African rift system, in DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
The project aims to develop knowledge, expertise, awareness and support for local, national and regional initiatives by following four specific objectives: 1/ academic training, 2/ mapping and data collection on natural hazards and associated risks, 3/ improving awareness and risk preparedness, and 4/ consolidating previous achievements. The achievement of these objectives is based on the strengthening of key institutions in these domains. The project aims to target the wide range of stakeholders concerned by natural hazards and associated risks, from academic or research groups to citizens and policy makers. The project will also look at the impact of citizen-science on development.
HARISSA is a 5-year project (2019-2023) funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD). The project is coordinated by RMCA in partnership with, in DRC, l'Institut Géographique du Congo (Kinshasa and Goma), the Goma Volcano Observatory, le Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, l'Université Officielle de Bukavu, l'Université de Goma and the Civil Protection (North and South Kivu), in Burundi, l'Université du Burundi, and, in Uganda, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).
Doctoral training in support of partner institutions
- 5 PhDs with UOB, UNIGOM, GVO, UB, MUST
- 2 masters with CRSN
Establishment of an inter-university master's degree to develop local expertise on natural hazards and risks
- The program is co-organised by UOB and UB (start in September 2021).
Implementation of two Citizen Observers networks for the collection of basic data on natural hazards and disasters
- Under the coordination of CRSN in DRC and MUST in Uganda: in the DRC, this network relies on collaboration with the Civil Protection of North and South Kivu, and as such also contribute to support disaster risk reduction.
Institutional support for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and risks awareness
- A regional workshop organized by the Civil Protection of North Kivu province (DRC).
- Awareness-raising activities by the Civil Protection in schools of Goma and Bukavu using an educational game developed by the RMCA and the VUB (HAZAGORA).
- Reinforcement/implementation of two educational centers on natural hazards and associated risks in Goma and Bukavu: at the Goma Volcano Observatory, the Volcano Museum; and at the Université Officielle de Bukavu, the Centre d'Information sur les Risques Naturels (CIRiNa).
Institutional support to the Institut Géographique du Congo
- Support for archiving and inventorying collections in Kinshasa
- Training in digital cartography (GIS)
- Development of thematic projects focused on the updating of administrative maps :
o Mapping of the boundaries of the provinces of Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Equateur by the Kinshasa team.
o Urban mapping in Goma
o Mapping of the boundaries of the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Maniema by the teams from Goma, Bukavu, and Kindu.
Consolidation of previous achievements
- Maintenance of tools and methodologies developed in previous projects
- GVO, CRSN and UOB participate in and maintain one of the densest seismic observation networks in Africa.
- Seismic and GPS data are transmitted in real time to the GVO.
- The monitoring of the volcano is complemented by satellite observations carried out at the ECGS/NMNH in Luxemburg and at the RMCA.
- Rain gauge network is maintained in DRC by CRSN and UOB.