Open Cities Monrovia project activities were centered on addressing flooding and challenges relating to flooding through the provision of up-to-date data of Zone 300, the area of interest. Flooding in Monrovia is cyclical and occurs during the rainy season every year (April - October).
Monrovia City, the capital of Liberia, is located along the Cape Mesurado peninsula, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mesurado River, whose mouth forms a large natural harbor. The Saint Paul River lies directly north of the city and forms the northern boundary of Bushrod Island. These rivers open north of Monrovia’s largest slum, West Point, home to approximately 75,000 residents and several other unplanned settlements. These unplanned settlements became densely populated during Liberia’s 14 year-long civil war - a period where most rural dwellers relocated to the capital to seek employment, education, trading opportunities and security. In 2014, the city was also greatly affected by the Ebola outbreak that impacted several West African countries.
As part of the Open Cities Africa Project carried out in 11 cities across Africa, the Open Cities Monrovia project activities were centered on addressing flooding and challenges relating to flooding through the provision of up-to-date data of Zone 300, the area of interest. Flooding in Monrovia is cyclical and occurs during the rainy season every year (April - October). Field mapping teams collected data during the rainy season, making way for interventions to occur during the next dry season. The project used OpenStreetMap (OSM) and a collection of open mapping tools including Java OpenStreetMap Editor (JOSM), the HOT Tasking Manager, OpenMapKit (OMK), Open Data Kit (ODK), Mapillary, and QGIS, to collect, validate, map, analyze and share accurate datasets from the target communities. The project had the following objectives:
Create and/or collate and release open spatial data about the built environment, critical infrastructure, and natural hazards;
Develop targeted products and/or tools (e.g., visualization tools, atlas or map series) to assist key stakeholders to utilize risk information towards addressing natural disaster risk in the selected city;
Enhance the local capacity and institutional development necessary to support the design and implementation of evidence-driven urban resilience interventions; and
Promote peer mentorship and build regional networks across cities.
The project was led by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), iLab Liberia and OSM Liberia and worked with stakeholders including Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LSGIS), National Disaster Management Agency (NDM), the Ministry of Public Works, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, and Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection.