16 January 2020
The population of South Africa suffers enormous losses every year as a result of the natural disasters in the region. Thousands of people are killed annually, and entire villages are destroyed. Between 2000 and 2012, a total of 14 million people were affected by the floods in the region, most of them remained homeless, and the total amount of losses exceeded 500 million dollars. In spring this year, cyclone Idan, raging in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, was one of the most powerful natural disasters in South Africa to date causing most of the losses. At least a thousand people have been killed, property damage amounts to over 2 billion dollars.
These effects could be significantly reduced in the future by forecasting the upcoming natural disasters and their magnitude.
The South African Development Community (SADC), a organization uniting 15 South African countries, has set up the Climate Services Centre (SADC CSC) which, in partnership with the Global Trade Centre and African universities, carries out a project called “ South Africa climate change information services to increase resilience to natural disasters in fifteen SADC member states”. There are four stages to this project. At the initial stage, BAIP, a Lithuanian-based critical IT infrastructure technology solutions company, will implement high performance computing solutions in fourteen African capitals: Luanda (ANGOLA), Gaborone (BOTSWANA), Kinshasa (CONGO DR), Mbabane (ESWATINI), Maseru (LESOTHO), Antananarivo (MADAGASCAR), Blantyre (MALAWI), Vacoas (MAURITIUS), Maputo (MOZAMBIQUE), Windhoek (NAMIBIA), Victoria (SEYCHELLES), Lusaka (ZAMBIA), Harare (ZIMBABWE), and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
High-performance computing solutions enable to analyse trillions of data per second, which is hundreds of thousands of times more than the capacity of a traditional laptop. These technologies today are no longer a luxury, a dream, or a qualitative exclusivity for the future. The possibilities of supercomputing have become easily accessible and intensely applied in a wide range of human activities. Preconditions for advances in science and other human activities unimaginable before have emerged.
Thanks to high-performance computing machines, the weather forecast today is more accurate than ever, and climate change research and modelling work is seamless and comprehensive. Modelling climate change is a major challenge for scientists around the world, requiring the processing of huge amounts of atmospheric, oceanic, geological, flora and fauna data at various time periods and at different scales, in order to produce an accurate model, measure the long-term impact of human activity. High-performance computing devices contribute directly to the preservation of our planet and of mankind in this sense.
BAIP implements at least several significant projects every year on the African continent. This project will extend the geography of BAIP’s operations in Africa to six more new countries.