OSM Mapping for Refugees - A Case of Dzaleka Camp, Malawi

The Eastern and Southern Africa Open Mapping Hub has awarded Facebook Community Impact Microgrants to four OpenStreetMap (OSM) communities in Malawi, Uganda, and Namibia. The grants will support community mapping projects responding to local challenges over 6-12 months. The grants include mapping out social amenities at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, growing the number and capacity of OSM mappers in Namibia, spreading awareness and fighting gender-based violence through OSM Tools in Uganda, and photo mapping of newly announced city-level municipalities in Uganda as part of the country’s urban planning.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Community Support Program supports local communities leveraging OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, tools, and mapper community to help solve local challenges. One way we do this is by providing OSM communities with microgrants that they can use to purchase equipment, support staff, and contractors, and offer training to data users and community members. The four communities below all received the HOT’s Facebook Community Impact Microgrant. 

Established by UNHCR in 1994, Dzaleka is the largest refugee camp in Malawi, hosting over 43,000 refugees and asylum seekers. The majority of them are from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while others are from Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, and Ethiopia. The growing camp population, which was meant to host 10,000 people, means that the camp’s resources barely cover the needs of the already vulnerable population.

The Malawi OpenStreetMap community, in collaboration with YouthMappers and the Africa Drone and Data Academy (ADDA), will create a detailed map of the camp that will serve as a source of information regarding the provision of basic services. They will map out amenities such as education centers, health care centers, buildings and shelters, and water sources. They also want to use the project to revive the OSM community in Malawi, as well as establish a new OSM community in Dzaleka refugee camp.

Humanitarian OSM Team/HOT Microgrants/Community Impact Microgrants 2021/Proposal/Dzaleka Mapping

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