How it works


Integration and IT Strategy

In TEMBO Africa, there is a tight coupling between in-situ observations, satellite data, and numerical models to ensure that the advantages of each approach enhance each other.

As a whole, TEMBO Africa

Reuse as much as possible existing software platforms, avoiding inefficient use of resources, making use of the advantages of what is there (robust data flows in the AgroApps platform; controlled data access and visualization in TWIGA platform, etc.)

Use data standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium, to ensure easy data exchange with GEOSS and Coper­nicus

Use standard APIs and formats to develop scalable and modular Lego®-like elements for all services.

Objectives & WP Structure

Work Packages' general logic WP1 is the principal point of interaction with external users and coordinates the development of integrated services (WP2, WP3, WP4) and technological developments (WP5, WP6, WP7). Data products that are also accessible to external entities, like GEO, such as soil moisture maps, rainfall fields, and discharge time series, serve as the primary interface between the technical and service WPs (SS). Although multiple products will support multiple services, just WP2 is shown here for clarity's sake.

Our Services

TEMBO offers three (3) services and they are described below.

Flood Early Warning Systems

We offer this service in order to reduce the loss of lives and assets due to floods and also improve preparedness for flood-related disasters.

Reservoir Management

Also, we provide this service to improve water management and increase water savings, increase the sustainable use of clean energy (hydropower), and reduce the loss of lives and assets due to downstream floods, caused by releases of surplus water.

Agriculture Insurance

This service is provided in order to reduce risk for (smallholder) farmers.
We create a mechanism for (smallholder) farmers to escape the poverty trap.

Our Products

The following are the products we provide. TEMBO provides five (5) products

Rainfall Maps

The maps here have low latency for operational services, such as crop insurance and flood warnings. They have a spatial resolution of 5km and a temporal resolution of three hours

Soil Moisture Maps

These maps have a continent-wide scalability and low latency of 2 days and help with bias removal.

Open Water

These products will develop river discharge time-series for selected sites as well as produce operational maps of open water and bathymetry of floodplains and reservoirs

River discharge

These products in this category derive river discharge measurements, time series, and error estimates.

Floodplain Mapping & Bathymetry

These products translate existing remote sensing surface area and river width estimates into wetted profiles and reservoir volumes

Sensors In Use

There are seven (7) sensors being used by TEMBO. They have been grouped under specific use area.

Below are the sensors listed under their various use field.

  • Commercial Microwave Links for rainfall estimates
  • X-Band radar for spatial rainfall estimates

  • Intervalometers for rainfall detection and typification


Land  Surface

  • Cost-effective neutron counters for large scale soil moisture (BLOSM)

  • Low cost GPS/GNSS receivers for mapping and multiple additional applications

  • Camera-based river discharge measurements

  • UAVs, fish-finders, and GNSS

Open Water

TEMBO Open Source Principles

The TEMBO Africa consortium is preparing and following a Data Management Plan that adheres to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. The plan outlines how the consortium is handling data during and after the project to make it FAIR.

Make African data available through GEOSS and external parties in (near-)real time

  1. In situ calibrated rainfall maps (WP5, operational delivery through GEOSS)
  2. In situ calibrated soil moisture maps (WP6, weekly Volta and Luangwa, ten days Ghana and Zambia)
  3. River discharge time series with error estimates (WP7, ≥5,000 hourly river flow observations)
  4. Bathymetry and open water maps of floodplains and reservoirs (WP3, 7, ≥10 water management systems)

Create socio-economic value by developing services using new sensors plus satellites and models

  1. Develop services to mitigate geo-hazards, starting with Flood Early Warning Systems (WP2, ≥3 paying users)
  2. Develop water management information services, starting with Reservoir Management (WP3, ≥5 dams operational)
  3. Develop agricultural information services, starting with Germination Insurance (WP4, ≥1crop insurance product)

Market these new services to harvest resources to maintain sensors and services

  1. Organise rapid feedback from users to continuously improve value (WP1, ≥50 service integrators reached)
  2. Design and realize permanent finance mechanisms for public goods (WP1, for flood early warning, reservoir operations, and germination insurance)
  3. Identify and engage private entities with the willingness to pay for services (WP1, ≥35 users willing to pay)


TEMBO Africa offers a range of technical solutions, combined with special attention to governance, often the main obstacle to successful implementation. This means that in addition to showing technical added value, raising awareness and building trust are key components of the initiative.

TEMBO Africa will increase the number of low-cost weather stations and the areal coverage of the data, and generate top-quality data records, which leads to improved weather forecasting in general, but also supports seasonal climate forecasting and climate change projections.