28.12.2018 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Four Months Left: What Has Really Been Achieved in 7 Years of JICA Supported UNESCO project “Strategic strengthening of flood Warning & Management Capacity of Pakistan?"

©UNESCO Jakarta

As a response to the 2010 devastating mega floods in Pakistan, UNESCO in cooperation with the Government of Japan has started a major project, “Strategic strengthening of flood Warning & Management Capacity of Pakistan” in two phases since 2011, for improving the flood forecasting and early warning system of the country. Under this project, the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM)/PWRI under the auspices of UNESCO and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have developed a hydrological model interface, “Indus-IFAS” and installed it at the Flood Forecasting Division, Pakistan Meteorological Department (FFD, PMD) in Lahore for test operation since 2014. However the first phase of the project underlined the lack of field measured data for more accurate simulations, in particular on ground hydrometeorological data (precipitation, temperature and river discharges, water height in particular) as well as river morphology data were not available in appropriate quality and quantity.

During this final year technical international workshop which took place in Jakarta on 20-21 December 2018 in Jakarta, partners from Japan and Pakistan shared their achievements on the modelling and deepened understanding of the Eastern rivers of the Indus system as main Indus was modelled during the first phase. The workshop was opened by a special lecture from Prof Koike (ICHARM Director) reflecting on changes of water-related disaster management in Japan due to the recent disasters more extreme and more frequent than traditional return period system would predict and the new bill of 33 billions USD (for 3years) for important infrastructures for water-related disaster risk reduction agreed in Japan under the leadership of Prof Koike as chair of the Western Japan Water Disaster council.

The current achievements of the project have been shared also with representatives of the Ministry of Water and Energy of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority and JICA Pakistan, JICA Afghanistan offices and discussions of the Japanese technology (freely available ICHARM hydrological models IFAS and RRI www.icharm.pwri.go.jp and JAXA developed satellite rainfall estimates GSMaP https://sharaku.eorc.jaxa.jp/GSMaP/ ) performance in Pakistan as well as applicability to Afghanistan were discussed in details. The results and the achievements were also discussed with BMKG (Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics), BNPB (National Agency for Disaster Reduction) and BPPT (Agency for Technology Development and Application) for their applicability in Indonesia. It was concluded first of all that now was time for integrating efficiently all ground data and knowledge collected and developed during this project between institutions in Pakistan through a platform to leave no one behind in terms of flood hazard management and the remaining needs for capacity building were also clearly outlined, the need for capacity in sediment flow related management, standardisation facilities for equipment calibration as well upscaling capacities in governmental institutions, universities and schools in Pakistan but also now in Afghanistan through Pakistan. 

As a conclusion, the ultimate recipients of technology, PMD acknowledged good effort and achievements of the two phases as well as the other steering committee members, the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Water and Power Development Authorities (WAPDA) and the Provincial Irrigation Departments of Pakistan acknowledged the great achievements of this project as well as their gratitude to the Japanese government for the support and expressed their institutions willingness to collaboration further for any upcoming phases. 

Project leader: Prof Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representative UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Office Jakarta.  

For more information: s.khan(at)unesco.org or a.sugiura(at)unesco.org  

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