Early Warning System operationalMay 25, 2017
Today, the installation of communication and alarm equipment was completed in 14 municipalities of the Vrbas river basin. The activity is implemented within the framework of the project "Technology Transfer for Climate Resilient Flood Management in the Vrbas River Basin", implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Installation of the equipment enabled timely distribution of information on upcoming floods to population and entrepreneurs.
"If we had been able to inform the population in time for the upcoming flood in 2014, the damage would have been less than a half," said Željko Obradović, representative of the Banja Luka Regional Observation and Notification Center of Civil Protection.
Over the past two months, UNDP has donated 140 handheld radio stations, 28 mobile radio stations (14 fixed ones for offices, and 14 mobile ones for vehicles), and in addition, eight 8 digital alarm sirens have been installed. Equipment installation locations have been agreed with civil protection units to make it as efficient as possible when needed in the field. Moreover, staff was trained to handle and maintain the equipment properly.
"We are now even much closer to establishing a more efficient early warning system for the Vrbas river basin, which will, hopefully, be an example of how we can successfully adapt to the floods and mitigate the negative effects of flood events" said Raduška Cupać, UNDP Project Manager.
During 2016, as part of the UNDP project, hydro-meteorological stations were also installed in the Vrbas River Basin, and in April 2017 flood hazard and risk maps were submitted as well as socio-economic data in the digitized GIS form for each of the 14 municipalities for the purpose of professional and efficient flood risk management.
With the flood forecast platform, which is in the development phase, and donated equipment for communication and warning, sending information on upcoming floods will be possible a few days in advance, enabling the population and entrepreneurs to timely prepare themselves and reduce disastrous consequences.
The UNDP’s project "Technology Transfer for Climate Resilient Flood Management in the Vrbas River Basin" financed by Global Environment Facility (GEF) is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republika Srpska, respective entity ministries responsible for water management and civil protection, and 14 municipalities in the Vrbas river basin.
The Project aims to enable BiH authorities at all levels to adapt to flood risks with technologies that will enable climate-resilient economic activities.
*Gradiška, Srbac, Laktaši, Banja Luka, Čelinac, Kotor Varoš, Kneževo, Mrkonjić Grad, Jezero, Jajce, Šipovo, Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf