OVERCOME – digital innOVation in climatE hazaRd early warning and related disease prevention for COMmunity capacity building and rEsilience

Community engagement - Epidemiology surveillance - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ghana - Malawi - Mozambique - Zimbabwe completed

Project timeline: 01/05/2020 - 31/10/2021

Lead Researcher

Prof. Albert Chen

Organisation / Institution

Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, UK



Project summary

OVERCOME will establish a transnational consortium with multidisciplinary expertise for cross-sectoral collaborative research in creating innovative technological methodologies and applications, including observations/surveillance, Internet of Things, climate/weather forecasting, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to strengthen our capacity in predicting the outbreaks of cholera and other water-related diseases. We will engage with stakeholders from academia, industry, governments, NGOs, coming from a wide range of sectors e.g. natural environment, health care, environment-economic, urban planning, utility services, disaster management, policy making, etc., and local communities in co-shaping the research questions and targeted outcomes. One example is that we hope to fill the gap between rainfall and runoff in cholera forecasting, as well as between floods and epidemiology. The team building and methodology defining in the first 12 months will enable the follow-up research in the second phase for delivering an ultimate holistic framework that supports these stakeholders in strategic planning and decision making to enhance societal resilience to climatic hazards. This will strengthen the capacity of vulnerable communities in minimising the negative impact of disasters, such as cholera, and associated health risks, which will improve country progress in addressing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Lay summary

OVERCOME consortium includes world-leading organisations to develop state-of-the-art research plans that integrate digital innovations in natural hazard and risk predictions in order to develop intervention strategies for strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities against climate hazards and health impacts, including cholera and other water-related diseases.

The partners from the UK, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe will contribute knowledge and skills in climate and meteorology, hydrology and water resources, flood forecasting, droughts, water quality, epidemiology and public health, smart technologies, data science, environmental science, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), risk communication, disaster management, social and policy sciences, and socio-economics. The collaboration will combine multidisciplinary knowledge to develop a novel holistic framework to forecast the impact of floods/droughts and associated disease outbreaks. OVERCOME also has strong support from global experts and local major stakeholders. The external partners will steer research direction throughout the project, contribute their complementary knowledge, and engage the team with additional partners through their strong international networking.

Potential for public health impact or global health decision-making

OVERCOME consortium will co-design an innovate holistic framework to help governments and local authorities in the partnering countries more accurately identify the timing and locations where the hazards and diseases, including cholera, will hit.


Albert Chen, University of Exeter, UK
Slobodan Djordjevic, University of Exeter, UK
Barry Evans, University of Exeter, UK
Karyn Morrissey, University of Exeter, UK
Kath Maguire, University of Exeter, UK
Kourosh Behzadian, University of West London, UK
Ying Zhang, University of West London, UK
Luiza Campos, University College of London, UK
Carla Washborne, University College of London, UK
Julia Tomei, University College of London, UK
Revati Phalkey, Public Health England, UK
Gordon Nichols, Public Health England, UK
Martin Dolan, Aquobex Technologies, UK
Conrad Bielski, Aquobex Technologies, UK
Bernardino Nhantumbo, National Institute of Meteorology, Mozambique
Genito Maure, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
Tatiana Marrufo, National Institute of Health, Mozambique
Americo José, National Institute of Health, Mozambique
Innocent Nhapi, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Grace Mugumbate, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Maria Tsvere, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Faidess Mwale, University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, Malawi
Geoffrey Chavula, University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, Malawi
Christabel Kambala, University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, Malawi
Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, University of Ghana, Ghana
Abu Mumuni, University of Ghana, Ghana
Francisca Martey, Ghana Meteorological Agency, Ghana;

Key Collaborators

Environmental Resources Management, Mozambique
National institute of Disaster Management, Mozambique
National Directorate of Water Resources Management, Mozambique
UNDP Malawi, Malawi
Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Malawi
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Department, Malawi
Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Malawi
Ministry of Health Malawi, Malawi
Centre for Health, Agriculture, Development Research and Consulting, Malawi
Water Research Institute, Ghana
Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway
Kruger, Denmark
Columbia University, USA
Eurecat, Spain; NASA, USA

Resources (1)


Consortium information