In recent years, the effects of droughts, aggravated by climate change, have increased in frequency and magnitude, affecting people's livelihoods and food security. Therefore, the "Crowdmapping for Food Security in the Horn of Africa" program aims to address this issue by using cutting-edge technology and community mapping to create an early warning system in Ethiopia’s Lowe Omo Valley.
Marcos Mreu, a researcher at UCL, explained the science behind FEWS NET (Famine Early Warning Systems Network) in a blogpost. The tool's main goal is to assist land users in producing terrestrial data so that maps combining satellite and user-generated data from the ground can be more locally relevant. This concept incorporates NICFI Basemaps, allowing participants to localize, on and off-site, the state of resources and map the natural resources to which they have access in an effort to better manage their resources and offer information to assess the severity of the disaster. The researcher highlighted in the last NICFI survey that space-based data is essential to help communities and local government officials to monitor changes, plan migrations, and prevent conflicts between pastoralist communities.
In addition, he explained that agro-pastoralist communities use recent planetary imagery uploaded to an easy-to-use mobile application to identify water bodies and grazing areas before traveling long distances and these communities also use the multi-temporal planetary images to observe changes.
A detailed description of the complete process is provided in these two blogpost (link Crisis Mapping By Affected Agro-Pastoralists in Ethiopia: Crowdsourcing for Food Security? and System and Data-Driven Collaboration Framework: A Work in Progress).