SWALIM Holds “Open Day” Information Sharing Event in Nairobi
On 12 and 13 July, 2016, the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) project held two well-attended days of information sharing at the FAO Somalia office in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was a great success and provided an opportunity for FAO Somalia and FAO Kenya colleagues to learn more about SWALIM’s award-winning work and impact it has on Somalia.
The event also gave a chance for development partners, donors and diverse stakeholders to see first-hand what SWALIM is about and gain knowledge and information on the wide range of products, services and collaboration opportunities available to them. This was an excellent opportunity to meet directly with the SWALIM staff working in different themes to engage, ask questions and understand their work.
Nearly 120 visitors came to see the SWALIM products and demonstrations, including 61 FAO colleagues from the Somali and Kenyan country offices and 57 partners from United Nations sister organizations, international and local NGO’s and donors from both Somalia and Kenya. The overall presentation was described by visitors as “insightful” and “eye-opening”.
The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive and highlighted the important role SWALIM plays in providing fact-based, up-to-date and reliable information to help development partners make decisions on natural resource management issues and also in supporting the local Somali communities manage their resources and respond to environmental challenges.
Among the many comments received, Mercy Gitau of Concern Worldwide said,
“Good to learn more about what SWALIM does, the data collected is very useful in helping us make important decisions in programming.”
Florence Muchori of OCHA added, “During the rainy seasons, SWALIM information is instrumental in helping us make important decisions, especially in emergencies, given its accuracy and reliability.”
The Open Day event was set up in the main conference hall of the FAO Somalia compound, with demonstrations installed outdoors on the grounds. SWALIM work was displayed in posters lining the hall and each thematic group – Water, Land, Information Management, Capacity Development and GIS/Remote Sensing – had a table set up demonstrating products and tools.
The SWALIM team was on hand throughout the event to explain and demonstrate the products and tools. The GIS/RS team generated a great deal of interest from partners, who described their presentations as well-organized and impressive. During the event, SWALIM