Capacity Building of Community Elders and Media Towards Flood Vigilance and Disaster Reporting
A flood vigilant community needs not only communication tools such as fax transmission, radios, and television (hardware) to receive flood information on a timely basis and but it also needs local capacity on traditional and new ways of information dissemination (knowledgeware) for appropriate disaster management actions.
In 2002, Government of Pakistan opened new doors for the media industry by allowing private television channels to operate in complete freedom, even to telecast their own news and current affairs content. Since then, Pakistani media have come a long way and contributed a lot in development of the socio-political sense of the community. We have already witnessed that all television channels of Pakistan covered disasters almost round the clock, especially, during major recent catastrophes, i.e., 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods.
We believe that now there is time to change the perspective of disasters coverage; instead of reporting on disasters, there is a need to report on the lines of disaster risk reduction (DRR). So, vulnerability and risk factor could be reduced to quite some extent if the communities are well informed and individual initiatives are pooled together to be carried out in an organized way.
In cooperation with the Government of Japan, UNESCO initiated a major project for upgrading the flood forecasting and early warning systems and risk mapping of floodplains along the Indus River. This project includes major upgrades to the forecasting software using the remote sensing technologies, especially in connection to flood management decision making at a hierarchy of levels and its inter-relationship to flood hazard assessment and planning. The upper Indus sub-catchments which are difficult to access will be modeled using the remotely sensed satellite rainfall data such as GSMaP-NRT developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) developed by International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM) under the auspices of UNESCO. The flood routing along the Indus needs will be improved by considering new flood inundation maps especially in the lower reaches of the Indus River and soil hydraulics properties data being collected by the Pakistan Council for Water Resources Research (PCRWR). The project is being implemented by UNESCO in close collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and in close coordination with the Government of Pakistan - including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Office of the Indus Water Commissioner and academic local partners such as the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). Flood hazard mapping at the district level will be coordinated thorough District Coordinating Officers to leverage the support provided by other UN agencies, NGOs and government agencies.
Four training workshops have been delivered in this project so far, and a few more are in the pipeline. National University of Science and Technology (NUST) hosted the first workshop titled ‘Training Workshop for Stakeholder Capacity Building in Flood Warning and Management’, while PMD and SUPARCO hosted the second and third workshops titled ‘Accuracy and Reliability of Flood Forecasting Models Through the Use of Remote Sensing Technologies for Mapping Rainfall, Hydrological Characteristics and Floodplains’ and ‘Flood Risk Mapping Using Spatial Technologies’ respectively. Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP) hosted the fourth workshop with focus on ‘Regulation of Hydraulic Structures for Flood Management’.
The present training workshop of this project is being organized at NUST Institute of Civil Engineering (NICE), School of Civil & Environmental Engineering (SCEE), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) from 25 – 26 September 2014 in cooperation with NDMA, PMD, FFC, SUPARCO and other partner organizations.
Detail Program of workshop to download the brochure.