EGU24-5309, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System for Strengthening Resilience to Natural Hazards 

Andrea Libertino1, Lorenzo Alfieri1, Laura Poletti1, Nicola Testa1, Alessandro Masoero1, Simone Gabellani1, Marco Massabò1, Jully Ouma2,3, Ahmed Amdihun2, Godefroid Nshimirimana4, John Mathias KiriwaiJ5, Lusajo Ambukeje5, Luca Rossi3, Katarina Mouakkid Soltesova3, and Huw Beynon3
Andrea Libertino et al.
  • 1CIMA Foundation, Savona, Italy (
  • 2IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre ICPAC, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 3United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction UNDRR - Regional Office for Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 4African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development ACMAD, Niamey, Niger
  • 5Africa Union Commission - Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Action System for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMHEWAS for DRR) is a joint effort, led by the African Union Commission (AUC) in coordination with Regional Economic Communities and Member States and with the technical and scientific support of UNDRR and CIMA Foundation, aimed at strengthening Africa's resilience to natural hazards. This comprehensive system encompasses a multi-scale approach, spanning from continental to regional and national levels, to enhance early warning capabilities and promote effective disaster risk management strategies. 

On the continental scale, AMHEWAS operates through a network of Situation Rooms. These interconnected hubs facilitate real-time information exchange, coordination of response efforts, and dissemination of advisories on potential threads and related impacts to national institutions. To ensure standardized operational procedures across the continent, AMHEWAS has established unified standard operating procedures, ensuring consistent application protocols and methodologies. 

Central to AMHEWAS' approach is the Continental Watch (CW), an impact-based forecast bulletin for rain, wind and flood hazards, that synthesizes insights from automated impact-based forecast systems. The CW provides timely and actionable information to decision-makers across the continent, enabling proactive measures to mitigate potential disaster impacts. Ongoing disasters can trigger Disaster Situation Reports (DSRs), co-produced by the AUC with the affected Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the national AMHEWAS stakeholders, for informing disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts and ensuring timely and appropriate responses to emergencies.  

AMHEWAS integrates risk data and forecasting products from global and regional authoritative sources to produce advisories as a combination of hazards, exposure, vulnerability and national copying capacity. Based on the possible expected impacts in the next 5 days, advisories are issued with a threshold-based mechanism with 4 levels of activation of the system. High level is related with the potential of the estimated impacts to overcome the capacity of the countries, while for lower advisories the effects are expected to be managed by national or subnational authorities. The potential impacts are estimated with an innovative automatic approach, that involves the overlap of the forecasted hazards, with layers of exposed elements, taking into consideration the lack of copying capacity derived from the INFORM database. 

In order to maximize the robustness of the forecasts AMHEWAS adopts a multimodel approach. As regards wind and rain, the forecast is carried out considering the combination of different meteorological global models. As regards flood, the reference model is GLOFAS, combined for the Great Horn of Africa region with the results of the impact-based flood forecast system FloodPROOFS East Africa (FPEA). FPEA is an operational system based on open-source technologies that employs an impact-based approach, integrating weather forecasting, hydrology and hydraulic modeling, as well as risk assessment to provide accurate and actionable flood forecasts up to five days in advance. Given its cross-border nature, the system allows for a comprehensive approach to large-scale hydrological assessment, easily scalable in an operational framework on a national scale. 

AMHEWAS is working on further integration of regional forecasting products from WMO specialized centers and national level, in order to improve the risk knowledge and information products generated.

How to cite: Libertino, A., Alfieri, L., Poletti, L., Testa, N., Masoero, A., Gabellani, S., Massabò, M., Ouma, J., Amdihun, A., Nshimirimana, G., KiriwaiJ, J. M., Ambukeje, L., Rossi, L., Mouakkid Soltesova, K., and Beynon, H.: Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System for Strengthening Resilience to Natural Hazards , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5309,, 2024.

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