BioHydroGenerator is a suite of tools developed and utilized by Action Against Hunger (ACF) for its early warning system for food crises in the Sahel. These tools, which generate maps of biomass and water availability for herders, are based on satellite remote sensing data.

These maps pertaining to biomass and water provide access to indicators of vulnerability for livestock, especially for nomadic herders in the Sahel region. Traditional extensive and nomadic livestock farming in these areas, known as pastoralism, is highly sensitive to climatic conditions and the quality of the West African monsoon season.

These tools are grouped into four separate and complementary modules:

  • DeCompressor (v1.0): This module prepares and validates the satellite database for use by other modules.
  • BioGenerator 2 (v4.0): This module calculates biomass production and generates maps of annual production anomalies and the vulnerability index.
  • HydroGenerator (v3.0): This module calculates the water accessibility index and creates maps of annual anomalies in this index.
  • PondMonitor (v2.0): This module develops temporal profiles of the fill rate of ponds and water points of pastoral interest, and creates maps of annual anomalies in surface water presence.

The main objective of these tools is to provide an assessment of pasture resources available to herders at the end of the rainy season. It is primarily on these reserves that herders will need to rely to feed their animals until the onset of the next rainy season.

The water resources, provided by real-time detection of surface water points, can be monitored during the dry season.

This information first explains the theoretical aspects and then describes the use of these tools. Some practical examples dictate the steps to follow, from downloading the data to the creation of maps and temporal profiles.

BioHydroGenerator was entirely developed by Erwann FILLOL, Ph.D. For any questions, please contact the author at

BioHydroGenerator user guide is accessible here.