Data-driven approach in flood mitigation: developing real-time mapping of floods in Mali

CTCN aims to strengthen the existing early warning system for flood risk in Mali, based on rainfall and water level forecasts, with the help of remote sensing and deep learning

Half-covered by the Sahara Desert and located between the arid Sahelian and north-Sudanese zones, Mali is characterized by a dry tropical climate with high variability between dry and wet periods. It is therefore estimated to be among the most vulnerable countries to climatic change. Due to its location, flat plains, and river systems coupled with changing climate patterns, Mali is exposed to the increased risk of extreme rainfall events, resulting in more frequent and severe floods that impact infrastructure, livelihoods, and essential services.


Climate projections suggest that extreme rainfall (and therefore flooding) in Mali will become more frequent. The list below gives some examples of recent extreme hydro-climatic events in Mali over the past three years: from May to September 2018, more than 3,800 houses were damaged or destroyed, 70 water points were damaged, 1,700 head of livestock perished, more than 10,000 households were affected. In September 2017, over 11,000 people were affected by flooding, mainly in the north of the country, in June at the start of the rainy season (3 cases of death were recorded, over 1,200 houses destroyed, and around 500 others damaged). Pastoral communities were particularly hard hit, with over 26,000 animals lost.


CTCN Support

Through this technical assistance, the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) will aim to strengthen the existing early warning system for flood risk in Mali, based on rainfall and water level forecasts, with the help of remote sensing and deep learning. The specific objectives of this technical assistance are as follows:

  • Overcome the lack of accurate data for developing hydrological models using deep learning models in a commune in Mali through the use of satellite and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) data;
  • Characterization of infrastructure types in at-risk areas;
  • Integrate the PGRCI's hydrological models and flood warning system in the selected rural commune;
  • Implement a low-cost hazard monitoring technology using microcontrollers connected to a pressure sensor and a GSM card to transmit water levels in the selected area.


Expected Impact

Technical assistance will help improve the performance of the warning system deployed by the PGRCI, particularly in rural communes, by tackling the four obstacles identified.


Seeking Experts

The UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is inviting its Network members to assist Mali. Interested qualified firms are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate in the real-time mapping of flood risk in Mali based on rainfall forecasts, remote sensing, and deep learning. Please refer to the detailed documents HERE and HEREIn case you are not a CTCN network member yet, you may still apply here. 



Project details

Cross-sectoral enabler
Innovation & RDD
Disaster risk reduction
Endogenous technologies
Request NDE
L’ Agence Nationale de la Météorologie
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals

Key documents