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 Newsletter no.11, August 2006

  Download (PDF): Newsletter no.11



 APFM at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico


 Community approaches to flood management - spreading the message


 Community approach to flash floods

   Launch of the pilot project in Zambia
   Addressing legal and institutional issues
   Reference Center on Flood Management

 APFM at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico.

Making Integrated Flood Management (IFM) part of Integrated Water Resources Management

The 4th World Water Forum was held in Mexico city from 16 to 22 March 2006 under the main theme of "Local actions for a global challenges". The APFM co-organized a thematic session at the Forum titled "Adopting Integrated Flood Management within the Integrated Water Resources Management" on 18 March 2006, under the framework theme of "Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management", with the Governments of Japan, the Netherlands and France. The objective of the session was to exchange experiences and lessons learned through local actions and to discuss key issues on IFM, with a view to supporting the countries in the implementation of IFM. The level of participation at the session was encouraging, which emphasized the interest and concern that the water community has in general with the subject of flood management, not least due to the large-scale flood events of 2004 and 2005 covered widely by the media. 


Opening the session, Mr. Masato Seiji, Vice-Minister for Technical Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan and Mr. Pascal Bertaud, Director General, Water Bureau, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development of France stressed the need for factoring risk management for sustainable water resources management. There were presentations from four local actions from South Asia, France, Japan and the Netherlands that highlighted the gaps in present knowledge and need for facilitation to put the integrated flood management approach into practice.  


From South Asia, community approaches to flood management in three countries (Bangladesh, India and Nepal) were introduced. These were the pilot projects, which have been undertaken under the auspices of APFM. This presentation outlined how empowerment of local communities through capacity building and institutional arrangement such as "Community Flood Management Committee" was crucial for the successful implementation. From France, a project on the Loire river focused on the involvement of various actors in the planning process and the necessity of federating all the stakeholders. The experiences of formulating the Tama River Improvement Plan from Japan, which aims to integrate flood control, water use and environmental issues involving residents people, were extremely educative. From the Netherlands, a project of widening the Meuse river was introduced and the importance of securing transparency and keeping certain timelines in the process of collaboration with stakeholders was presented. It was also noticed that the regional governments have to play a key role in design and planning of such projects because of their familiarity with local perspectives.

Minister for Science, Information Communication and Technology, Bangladesh, advocates for Community Approaches to Flood Management

Minister for Science, Information Communication and Technology Abdul Moyeen Khan said on Monday that flood management needs community- based approaches both at micro and macro level and role of NGOs and local administration is very important to ease this severe natural calamity, reports BSS.
Fore more information: http://www.financialexpress-bd.com/index3.asp?cnd=4/4/2006on_id=3&newsid=20680&spcl=no


The presentations on "local actions" were followed by a panel discussion with policy makers, project managers and academics. The panel discussion and succeeding open discussions with the audience, made suggestions that funding agencies should support integrated flood management approaches at national and international levels.
For more information: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/WWF4/WWF4-02.htm


Exhibition booth

The APFM was present at the World Water Fair at WMO's booth and drew huge response from the water community gathered at the forum. Ministers, heads of organizations and an estimated 3000 participants of various nationalities visited the booth.  There was a great demand for APFM's publications and promotion materials related to Integrated Flood Management. Several hundred additional requests for literature and publications were registered for delivery after the forum.


 Community approaches to flood management  spreading the message

In order to up-link the Community Approaches to Flood Management (CAFM) to a wider regional perspective, a Regional Workshop on CAFM was organized on 3-5 April 2006 in Bangladesh. Representatives of six countries including Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan along with regional organizations and bilateral donors attended the workshop. The aim of the Regional Workshop was to promote the successful approach and results of the project to other countries in the Asian region and to foster interest for the project with regionally active organizations and bilateral donors. As a result of the regional workshop, there has been an interest to implement the project regionally. Two countries, namely Pakistan and China will implement the project nationally.

Earlier, the pilot project on CAFM has been successfully carried out since 2003 in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, aiming at reducing vulnerability of communities to flooding through an enabling approach that focuses on communities to develop, engage in and implement self-help measures, be prepared for floods, respond to flood events and take appropriate measures after the recurring floods. For this purpose, flood management manuals have been elaborated based on the need of selected communities. The approach has been up-linked to the national disaster planning processes in the three countries.  The National Disaster Management Authorities of Bangladesh, India and Nepal have expressed their readiness to make the community approach to flood management part of their national disaster management policy and implementation activities.

The success of the pilot project and the subsequent workshops are largely accredited to three nationally respected NGO's that have been the responsible organizations for the project in collaboration with the : the Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) in Bangladesh as regional driver organization, the Institute for Resource Management and Economic Development (IRMED) in India, and the Jalsrot Vikas Sanstha (JVS) in Nepal. 


Community approach to flash floods

Flash floods remain a challenge in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Three countries, namely Poland, Romania and Slovakia, are currently engaged in a project in pilot communities under the APFM to reduce the vulnerability of the communication to flash floods with support from the National Hydrological and Meteorological agencies. At a workshop in Poland in April with some 20 participants from the three countries, progress of the implementation were reviewed, approaches shared and a number of important issues identified.

Embedded in wider flood mitigation plans, progress has been made in employing tools to facilitate the decision-making processes at the local and county levels related to flash floods. This is being achieved through a combination of technological and social solutions. Hydro meteorological institutes are facilitating local flood warning systems based on telemetric rainfall and water level gauges reinforced with weather forecasting information. This is supported by innovative tools to communicate warnings to the affected population, such as mass telephone notification systems as well as education and training activities for the population. Finally, institutional coordination through required agreements between several layers of the governments is being attempted.

The national hydro-meteorological institutes, GWP Country Water Partnerships and GWP Central and Eastern Europe, as well as local crisis intervention teams, and administration are actively participating in the project. A field visit to the county crisis centre in Poland as well as the community where a local flood mitigation plan has been developed with local inhabitants under the project already indicated the enthusiasm of the local communities to take up their responsibilities.

Ministry of Water Resources in China advocate for the Community Approaches to Flood Management

The Ministry of Water Resources in China has introduced the "Community-Based Approaches to Flood Management" and its success story in Bangladesh and India on their website. The news emphasizes the importance of adopting such a community approach in the country with respect to disasters caused by flash floods and mudflows.
For more information: http://www.hydroinfo.gov.cn/shuiwen/20060411/70113.asp (Chinese)


Launch of the pilot project in Zambia

Kafue basin is one of the most environmentally sensitive basins in Zambia, which is affected by recurrent flooding. The basin is one of the most urbanized in the country with all the major towns and industries located therein. Flood risks range from loss of lives to widespread destruction of crops and other economic activities. As floods and droughts play an important role in determining sustainable development, there is a need for developing a Flood Management Strategy for the Kafue Basin to prevent flood disasters hampering the development process in the basin. The strategy has to be integrated within the water resources management in the basin.

The pilot project assesses the flood risk in the Kafue Basin and draws up an Integrated Flood Management Strategy for the basin to be incorporated and implemented with the framework of the Water Resources Action Programme (WRAP). This programme was formulated by the Ministry of Energy and Water Development (MEWD) to develop and implement strategies for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The implementation of the strategy will involve: raising awareness on the flood management issues in the basin; collection and analyzing all available technical, economical, and social data relevant to IFM; and interaction with various stakeholders including different local, national, and regional development agencies and ministries involved in water and disaster related activities.



Addressing legal and institutional issues

Past flood events have proven time and again that a sound legal and institutional framework is a key ingredient for effective coordination among various sectors and institutions for an integrated approach to flood management. Such framework defines and protects rights and obligations of individuals and authorities in the various phases of the risk management cycle. As such, it helps minimizing the chances of chaotic or uncoordinated flood responses. It is also essential in providing mechanisms for dispute management. The APFM has now published a policy paper titled "L­egal and Institutional Aspects of Integrated Flood Management" in collaboration with the International Water Law Research Institute (IWLRI). The publication forms part of the "Flood Management Policy Series", to raise awareness of policymakers regarding the need for an appropriate legal framework for IFM. The publication does not stay theoretical but draws upon various legal instruments applied around the world. The publication also contains a "Rapid Legal Assessment Tool", guidance to legal experts and flood managers to analyze the existing legal framework related to flood management and identify possible gaps in a wider legal and institutional reform process.


Reference Center on Flood Management

The APFM website serves as the central access point for various programme activities on IFM and its information services, including the reference centre on flood management. Set of databases on flood management policy and legislation, literature on flood management, and flood-prone area have been developed on the website. These databases are used by flood managers, policy makers, communities affected by floods, etc., to obtain flood management information. The databases are being further enriched through your active corporations. APFM, therefore, kindly invites you to visit the reference center on flood management and provide us information on floods and flood management in your county through the on-line submission form for each database please visit: http://www.apfm.info/database.htm


Global Water Partnership