Flood Early Warning System
It’s a great pleasure of mine to share this news that SI/MSFP-LI-BIRD successfully installed Wireless Community Based Early Warning System at Bhurung-Tatopani of Myagdi District on 11th December 2014.
This technology has been installed for first time in Nepal through LI-BIRD in technical partnership with ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) and SEE (Sustainable Eco Engineering); the same technology which had recently received UNFCC’s Lighthouse Award 2014 for its work on Community Based Early Warning System in the Eastern Brahmhaputra River Basin, India.
Before installation of the system, 3 days technical training was given among the community people. During training, participants learned basic DRR terminologies, EWS components, equipment to be installed and EWS mechanism. Round table discussion, group work and video demonstration regarding communities managing early warning system in Eastern Nepal was also included in the theoretical session of the training. After theoretical session, practical session started where participants learned about equipment (transmitter unit and receiver unit), methodology to install, assemble and disassemble system together with precaution measures in days to come. Entire training was facilitated by ECCA, SEE and SI/LI-BIRD.
Handing Over Hardware of Flood Early Warning System to the community Representatives
While nearing to the end of the session, communication channel was developed in active participation of community people. Once communication channel was developed, community people were mobilized to site for installation. Installation was followed by field monitoring. Chief District Officer (CDO) , Local Development Officer (LDO), District Forest Officer (DFO), Army Chief, National Level Journalist participated in site observation. On last moment of hand-over ceremony, this technology was handed over to head of Project Support Committee (PSC) by Chief District Officer Mr. Tek Bahadur KC. Furthermore, Mr. KC accepted the communication channel developed by community people during training session.
Working Mechanism of Wireless Early Warning System: This technology has two units i) Transmitter and ii) Receiver. Transmitter Unit consists of water level sensor, Radio Transmitter, Solar Panel and Antennae. Likewise, Receiver Unit is composed of Radio Receiver, Battery, Charge Controller, Siren, Solar Panel and Antennae. Transmitter unit is installed in river bank while receiver unit is installed in a house of the community with distance not more than 500 meter from transmitter installed along the river. The sensor of transmitter is used to produce alarm to community according to the flood level of river. Radio Receiver receives signal in the form of LED light and siren. Thus siren produces different tone in different water level.
First stage siren: interrupted siren ring as pre-early warning
Second stage siren: The time between pre-alarm and full-alarm. This stage can provide reaching time of flood. In other word, it can be called as evacuation time or lag time.
Third stage siren: Full siren with large volume. Once community receive this warning, they need to evacuate to safe shelter/evacuation center.
Testing Flood Early Warning System
Conclusion: As this is low-cost and user friendly technology installed for the first time in Nepal, community people together government stakeholders including CDO, LDO, DFO, Nepal Army, Nepal Police have well appreciated the system. Furthermore, they have praised the work done by SI-LIBIRD in close coordination and collaboration with ECCA and SEE. However, the major challenge now is to sustain this system in long run. For this government has to own the system and community people have to bring local government into the realization incorporating it into the local development plan further incorporating it into district and national level plan; incorporation of EWS in local DRR planning process will result into the reduction of vulnerability and increased resilience of community. Moreover, the introduction of this Wireless Flood Early Warning System will provide good instance for climate change adaptation technology with further replication various vulnerable localities of our country especially in the flash flood affected areas and in the inner terai belt.
Special Initiatives Coordinator (SIC)-MSFP LOT IV