Development of a decision tool based upon the use of remote sensing and GIS for the site planning and the management of refugees camps taking into account the environment.

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Context and objectives

The objectives of this project were threefold :
- To compile and to organise into a GIS small scale geographic data
- To develop a spatial decision tool to support site planning and the management of refugees camps
- To set up a robust computer configuration dedicated to ground surveys, using the developed decision tool and the small scale geographic data

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

Two scenario have been tested : an emergency situation and a non emergency one where environmental criteria may be taken into account. Both of them give a map of adequacy of areas to select site for refugees camps. These maps leads the user to concentrate the site selection over some more suitable areas, but does not locate a adequate site.

The method was applied over several zones centred on Goma :
- An area of 150 by 150 km was used to set up the method
- The Great lakes region (300 by 400 km) was used in order to demonstrate its applicability over a wide region of the world facing conflicts
- A small area (40 by 40 km) for which high resolution data were available

Adequacy maps were confronted to the ground experience of our partner in Goma. Emergency sites location are quite well modelled. In the environmental scenario, actual camps located in non suitable areas were indeed facing environmental problems such as water supply, high impact on protected areas, …; their relocation wasn’t possible for security reasons. Comparison with the situation around Goma had the only objective of validating the tool under development.

Precise site location and site management were not studied thoroughly within this project; conclusions of a previous feasibility study on the use of remote sensing for refugees camps management and mapping stated that interpreted space maps of high and very high resolution remote sensing data are adequate documents to be use by humanitarian organisations.

The private company associated to this study has developed a spatial tool for ground survey. It allows to view spatial data (i.e. vectors and images), to add vector data (i.e. roads, camps, …), to collect ground data using a GPS organised into a database.
Project leader(s): ULB - IGEAT - ANAGEO (Analyse Géospatiale)
Location: Region:
  • Burundi,Democratic Republic of Congo,Rwanda

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