A Community-focused Flood Early Warning System for the BuPuSa Transboundary River Basins

Project name :

A Community-focused Flood Early Warning System for the BuPuSa Transboundary River Basins

Project duration :

01-01-2022

Introduction

The intervention seeks to reduce the vulnerability of communities in the Busi-Pungwe-Save (BuPuSa) Basins to floods, by providing an effective flood risk assessment, monitoring and early warning system, increased capacity and knowledge base, and inclusive communication strategy and action plans. The intervention will strengthen local capacities in flood monitoring, early warning and flood risk management. The project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Background

The 2019 floods that were caused by tropical cyclone Idai severely affected Mozambique and Zimbabwe, showing the insufficiency of the early warning systems in the region and lack of preparedness. This project will therefore aim to address this.

 

In Mozambique, it is estimated that the country loses an average of 1.1 percent of its GDP, annually, due to the impacts of droughts and floods. Primary sector activities, which include agriculture and extractive industries, contribute around 30% of Mozambique’s GDP; and agriculture alone employs 80% of the work force. These industries face significant hurdles in the case of floods, which has a direct effect on the gross GDP of the country. Climate change is also one of the most important drivers of vector- and waterborne diseases in Mozambique and Zimbabwe such as malaria and cholera. In recognition of the increasing climate-related challenges, the Governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe have initiated activities to determine vulnerability and adaptation priorities, and to integrate this knowledge into development and sectorial planning, as well as strengthening early warning capabilities of the countries.

 

Extreme weather events also have a huge impact on the BuPuSa communities as evidenced by the recent Tropical Cyclone Idai which led to loss of life and destruction of assets and infrastructure. In some places, villages were submerged as flood water rose, causing mass displacement. Many families were separated as they fled the rising flood waters, while others were trapped on high ground, unable to access basic goods and services for days. While disasters affect everyone; women, girls, men and boys are impacted differently due to different capacities, strengths, needs and vulnerabilities; each of which can affect how an individual and the wider community are impacted, as well as how they will respond and recover to a disaster. Pre-existing social and cultural norms and expectations placed on women and girls can lead to women and girls being disproportionately impacted by disasters.

Objective

The project objective is to reduce the vulnerability of communities in the Busi-Pungwe-Save (Bu-PuSa) transboundary river basins to floods, by providing an effective flood risk assessment, monitoring and early warning system, increased capacity and knowledge base, and inclusive communication strategy and action plans. This will ultimately contribute to a reduction of deaths and loss of goods as a consequence of extreme events such as floods and droughts.