Following the successful factory acceptance test (FAT) in Toulouse, France in December 2015, the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) began deployment of satellite receiving stations to the beneficiary institutions in Africa. The deployment started with an initial batch of seven reference stations and a training center which are being shipped to Botswana, Mauritius, Niger, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In total, 55 stations for meteorological services, 115 stations for environmental services and related sectors, and 4 training centers will be installed.
“With MESA, Africa has the opportunity to monitor the environment and respond to environmental phenomena including disasters in near real time. This is a solid contribution towards protecting human life and property, securing livelihoods and attaining food security” said Dr. Jolly Wasambo, MESA Project Coordinator of the African Union Commission.
The deployed stations promise to enable 48 African ACP countries to access reliable, timely and accurate land, marine and climate data and information for Africa. This important infrastructure will also increase the capacity for information management, decision making and planning of continental, regional and national institutions mandated for protecting the environment, climate and food security.
The impact this infrastructure will have was highlighted during the inauguration of a new satellite data receiving station at the University of Namibia by that institution's Vice Chancellor.
"Today's inauguration of the MESA Satellite data receiving station marks an important milestone in the life of the University of Namibia, as from today the University will have a direct satellite into important environmental data for research and teaching" said Prof. Lazarus Hangula, Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia during the inauguration ceremony.
The inauguration at the University of Namibia also included the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the University of Namibia and the MESA SADC. This document will underpin the relationship between the two organisations, and the management of the satellite receiving equipment.