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FEWS NET was designed to monitor (and forecast when possible) incidence of drought and flooding in Africa in order to identify problems in the food supply system that could potentially lead to famine or other food-insecure conditions.

Map of Africa showing Famine Early Warning System Network
Map of Africa showing Famine Early Warning System Network(Public domain.)

The purpose of FEWS NET is to collect, analyze, and distribute information to decision makers regarding potential or current famine/flood situations, allowing them to authorize timely measures to prevent food-insecure conditions. FEWS NET supports data collection and analysis in 17 African countries. Since 1987, USGS/EDC has provided timely access to satellite data/products in order to identify potential and current problems related to crop conditions and/or flood risk throughout Africa. 

USGS Mission Tie In: This project provides numerous benefits to several Science Disciplines at the USGS: 

USGS Data and Image Processing Support - remote sensing, image processing and interpretation, and GIS analyses. Provides access to relevant satellite data (e.g., AVHRR-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI); and Meteosat-derived rainfall estimates). 

Agro-meteorological Product Development, such as rainfall estimate algorithm enhancement, and crop-specific water requirement satisfaction index (WRSI) modeling and yield reduction assessment.

Spatial Data Modeling and Forecasting - Stream Flow Model. Develops stream flow estimates for flood risk monitoring, as well as scenarios for flood preparedness, in GIS environments. 

Data Archive and Dissemination - repository of FEWS NET Africa-wide data archive, and Africa Data Dissemination Service (ADDS) server. 

FEWS NET supports data collection and analysis in 17 African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Sudan, and Tanzania; Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. FEWS NET has now expanded to a global project with USAID this technology to Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and Central America.

NDVI Dekadal image
NDVI Dekadal image(Public domain.)


U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Chemonics International
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
NOAA/Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO/Rome)
AGRHYMET Regional Center (Niamey, Niger)
SADC/Regional Remote Sensing Project (Harare, Zimbabwe)
SADC/Water Sector Coordinating Unit (Lesotho)
Drought Monitoring Center, Nairobi (DMCN)(Kenya)
Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) (Nairobi, Kenya)
Mozambique institutions: ARA-Sul, CENACARTA, University Eduardo Mondlane 
Other: Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), Nairobi; Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC), Harare; South Africa Weather Service, Pretoria.

Rainfall Dekadal image
Rainfall Dekadal image(Public domain.)