Risk management: UNESCO to upgrade flood forecasting system

Project aims at reducing impacts of flooding in Pakistan.


APP September 14, 2014

ISLAMABAD:


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched a project aimed at upgrading the flood forecasting and early warning systems of Pakistan.     


Chief Meteorologist at the Pakistan Met Department Mohammad Riaz says the project will conduct risk mapping of plains along the Indus River.

The project will be implemented by UNESCO, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and in coordination with the Government of Pakistan, he added.

He said the project aims at reducing the human and socioeconomic impacts of flooding in Pakistan and improving the social, economic, and ecological benefits of floods besides fostering safer human settlements near flood plains. It will also involve capacity building and strategic strengthening of the country’s early flood warning system, he added.

Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) is a product of International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM) Japan and used internationally for flood analysis.

This product has been customised over Indus River under the project “Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan” and transformed into rainfall runoff forecasting model namely Indus-IFAS.

Additional benefit of this model is that it covers the upstream Tarbela right from Skardu and the Kabul river catchment (which the FEWS lacks in the present shape) down to Kotri, he said.

He further said that the model was handed over to FFD/PMD in March 2014 and was presently running on trial basis during this flood season for validation.

“Another component of this model is Rainfall Runoff Inundation (RRI), The most useful tool to manage the flood water.

This component has also been provided by ICHARM Japan under this project,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that a Flood Warning Centre has been established at the office of the Sindh Irrigation Department Karachi.

The staff will be available on the telephone number 021-9211505 round the clock including Sundays and other holidays, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2014.

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