Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-538
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-538
15 Mar 2024
 | 15 Mar 2024

Ready, set, go! An anticipatory action system against droughts

Gabriela Guimarães Nobre, Jamie Towner, Bernardino Nhantumbo, Célio João da Conceição Marcos Matuele, Isaias Raiva, Massimiliano Pasqui, Sara Quaresima, and Rogério Bonifácio

Abstract. The World Food Programme, in collaboration with the Mozambique National Meteorology Institute, is partnering with several governmental and non-governmental organizations to establish an advanced early warning system for droughts in pilot districts across Mozambique. This warning system, named "Ready, Set & Go!", aims to proactively address impending droughts by setting predefined thresholds, triggers, and funding mechanisms for anticipatory actions. The system uses seasonal forecasts as core information to anticipate severe reductions in rainfall during the rainy season. This information guides the implementation of actions to reduce the impacts of rainfall deficits in the critical window between a forecast and the onset of the drought event. With the recent adoption of the Southern African Development Community Maputo Declaration on Bridging the Gap between Early Warning and Early Action, member states have committed to enhancing the reach of early warning system by leaving no one behind. Therefore, there is a need to assess the opportunities and limitations of the Ready, Set & Go! system to scale up drought AA information to all districts in Mozambique. This study describes the Ready, Set & Go! system which uses ensemble forecasts of the Standardized Precipitation Index to trigger anticipatory action against droughts on a seasonal timescale. The Ready, Set & Go! optimizes the use of seasonal forecast information by choosing triggers for anticipatory action based on verification statistics and on a double confirmatory process, which combines longer lead times with shorter lead time forecasts for issuing drought alerts. In this study, we show the strengths of the system by benchmarking it against three simpler triggering approaches. We found that the Ready, Set & Go! system has the potential for scaling up AA activities against severe droughts to 76 % of the Mozambican districts with increased hit rate and lead time, and decreased false alarm ratio compared to the other three benchmarked approaches. National coverage against severe droughts could be reached to 87 % of all districts if targeting only the first part of the rainy season. By aligning with the objectives outlined in the Maputo Declaration and the Early Warning for All initiative, this research contributes to safeguarding communities against the adverse impacts of climate-related events, aligning with the ambitious goal of universal protection by 2027.

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Gabriela Guimarães Nobre, Jamie Towner, Bernardino Nhantumbo, Célio João da Conceição Marcos Matuele, Isaias Raiva, Massimiliano Pasqui, Sara Quaresima, and Rogério Bonifácio

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-538', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-538', Daniel Osgood, 10 Jul 2024
Gabriela Guimarães Nobre, Jamie Towner, Bernardino Nhantumbo, Célio João da Conceição Marcos Matuele, Isaias Raiva, Massimiliano Pasqui, Sara Quaresima, and Rogério Bonifácio
Gabriela Guimarães Nobre, Jamie Towner, Bernardino Nhantumbo, Célio João da Conceição Marcos Matuele, Isaias Raiva, Massimiliano Pasqui, Sara Quaresima, and Rogério Bonifácio

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Short summary
The "Ready, Set & Go!" system, developed by the World Food Programme and partners, employs seasonal forecasts to tackle droughts in Mozambique. With the Maputo Declaration, efforts to expand early warning systems are aligning with global initiatives for universal protection by 2027. Through advanced forecasting and anticipatory action, it could cover 76 % of districts against severe droughts, reaching 87 % national coverage for the first months of the rainy season.