Scotland-Malawi Collaboration on Satellite Imagery for Tropical Cyclone Freddy Damage Assessment

30 October 2023

Satellite imagery of over 200 sites in Malawi has been provided from Scotland in an expert report, supported by the SMP. Collaborating closely with senior officials in Malawi (and following grid co-ordinates which they selected), high -resolution images have been shared of roads, bridges and other key infrastructure, assisting Malawi’s assessment of damage to these sites caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. The report was led by Dr Henry Kadzuwa with support from his PhD supervisor, Professor Iain Woodhouse at the University of Edinburgh who identified the opportunity for Scotland to provide this technical assistance. This drew upon highly valuable expertise and tapped-into the significant monetary value of access to technology which Prof Iain Woodhouse had developed.

The full report is available here.

As part of the SMP and Malawi Scotland Partnership’s Cyclone Freddy online co-ordination meetings, it surfaced that following President Chakwera’s declaration of a State of Disaster in Malawi, the International Disaster Management Protocol had not been initiated at the Malawi side. There was a specific technical procedure for doing this and exceptionally busy officials in Malawi requested support on doing so from an SMP member in Scotland. The triggering of this released additional international support.

Charles Kalemba, Secretary and Commissioner for Malawi’s Disaster Management Affairs commented: “On behalf of Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and on my own behalf, I would like to thank you and your team for the commitment to help Malawi with such important data. The data will assist us make informed decisions but also prepare and respond better.”

The cyclone mapping and International Disaster Management Protocol assistance, undertaken in close and mutually respectful collaboration between Scotland and Malawi are practical examples of the strong relationship between the two nations.


Post Cyclone Freddy Disaster Mapping - Malawi by Dr Henry Kadzuwa