OPIDIN is in the air again, the site that gives the predicted flood level in the Inner Niger Delta (Mali). The annual flooding of the Inner Niger Delta is vital to humans and animals. More than 1.5 million fishermen, rice farmers and herdsmen depend for their living on the annual flooding of an area of one million ha. However, depending on the rainfall the flooding varies significantly from year to year and this has a large impact on the living conditions of the people. Also for the millions of migratory birds in the Inner Delta the flood determines their survival in the coming winter.
With the support of the Dutch Embassy in Mali, our office developed together with our partners in Mali, in particular the "Direction Nationale de l'Hydraulique, Frerotte Hydro-Consult and Wetlands International, a forecasting model (www.opidin.org) that allows the prediction of the flood several months in advance. Just like the weather forecast, the prediction of the expected flood is broadcasted daily on the radio in Mali. The data are highly relevant for different user groups to make a choice concerning their economic activities, water management, etc.
We predict that the flood will be low in 2014, corresponding to, or just a little higher than, 2011. Have a look at www.opidin.org for more information.