From Cloud to Refugee Camp: A Satellite-Based Flood Analytics Case-Study in Congo-Brazzaville

Jeff C. Ho, William Vu, Beth Tellman, Jean Bienvenu Dinga, Patrick Impeti N’diaye, Sam Weber, Jean Martin Bauer, Bessie Schwarz, Colin Doyle, Matthias Demuzere, Tyler Anderson, Emmalina Glinskis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In November 2017, floods in Impfondo, Congo forced evacuations and damaged crops, homes, and roads. The World Food Programme (WFP) supported the government’s response by providing food aid but was delayed by one month due to inadequate information. To enable faster flood response, WFP partnered with Cloud to Street to develop a near real-time Congo flood monitoring system in collaboration with the government. The system used precipitation information (GSMaP), and satellites (MODIS, Landsat, Sentinel-2, PlanetScope, and Worldview-3) to estimate flood damage and alert stakeholders via WhatsApp Messenger and an online platform. The system was used to assess flood risk of 16, 000 refugees, resulting in the recommendation to move refugees from one high risk site (Makotipoko), reducing the flood exposure of up to 7, 000 people. Despite limitations of the flood monitoring system (cloud cover, inaccurate rainfall forecasting, and population data), it provides evidence that satellite-based flood analytics can inform local decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observation for Flood Applications
Subtitle of host publicationProgress and Perspectives
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780128194126
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency response
  • Near real-time flood monitoring
  • Operational system
  • Refugees
  • Relocation
  • Remote sensing
  • Republic of the congo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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