Japanese Government Supported UNESCO Flood Management Pakistan Project Strengthening also Capacity in Afghanistan

, Pakistan

25-29 March 2019
As a response to the 2010 devastating floods in Pakistan, UNESCO in cooperation with the Government of Japan has started a major project on “Strategic strengthening of flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan”. During the first phase from July 2011 to September 2014, the project has developed the flood-forecasting systems using satellite technology: the Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) and the Rainfall Runoff-Inundation (RRI) models, for the upper and lower catchment of the Indus River for improving the flood forecasting and early warning system of the country. The system enables the Government of Pakistan to have prior notice of a potential flood event in the targeted areas. The second phase of the project has started in 2015 involves cooperation with neighbouring countries of Pakistan such as Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of the riverine countries within Indus river system where 21 out of 34 provinces are vulnerable to floods from March to May months every year.

UNESCO Offices in Jakarta and Islamabad in collaboration with the Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management (CDPM), University of Peshawar, Pakistan and also in close coordination with UNESCO Kabul office, are conducting a training workshop in Jakarta, attended by five officers from the Ministry of Water and Energy of Afghanistan and five officers from Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA). This collaboration between Pakistan and Afghanistan will promote transboundary cooperation, such as transboundary data sharing, increase the capacity of flood management in Afghanistan, and eventually increase community resilience to flood in South Asian region.

The training workshop is divided into two parts: 1) Flood Management through Flood Early Warning, and 2) Forecasting System and Intermediate rainfall-runoff modelling and hands on training on IFAS and RRI models and GSMaP_IF, an interface to correct JAXA developed satellite based rainfall estimates with local observed data.

On the first day of the training, Prof Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Office Jakarta, gave an overview of the three years running project and the importance of collaboration between Afghanistan and Pakistan to overcome the regional water management challenges. Then it was followed by class sessions and group activity facilitated by Dr Ahmad Mustaq from CDPM. The modeling training will be delivered by Dr Umair Rabbani , Mr Junaid Siddiqui from UNESCO Islamabad and Dr Ai Sugiura from UNESCO Jakarta. The training workshop will be held from 25 to 29 March 2019 at UNESCO Office Jakarta.