Strengthening Capacity in Flood Forecasting in the Himalayan Region

Group photograph of all the participants, organiser and trainers at Park Village Hotel, Kathmandu

ICIMOD, in collaboration with the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Nepal, trained fifteen participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan on flood outlook and flood modeling in Kathmandu from 2–6 November, 2015. The training was conducted as part of the HYCOS project which has the aim of supporting disaster prevention and flood management in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Finland and promotes the timely exchange of flood data and information within and among the participating countries. 

DHI and ICIMOD, who jointly developed the regional flood outlook for the Ganges Brahmaputra basin using the Mike 11 model, facilitated the training and shared the concepts and tools used in developing the regional flood outlook and provided detailed information on flood modeling. The HYCOS project has been piloting the regional flood outlook model since the flood season of 2014.

Opening session of the training chaired by Dr Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Programme Manager, River Basins, ICIMOD

The participants were from the flood forecasting and warning centre, Bangladesh Water Development Board (Bangladesh), Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (India), Flood Management and Information System Centre (Patna, India), Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal), Water & Power Development Authority (Pakistan), Tribhuvan University (Nepal) and Karakoram University (Pakistan).

The honorary guest of the session, Jorma Suvanto, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal, Embassy of Finland, stated the importance of developing a timely and accurate flood forecasting system in the HKH region and wished ICIMOD for every success for the challenging endeavour. Gautam Rajkarnikar, Deputy Director of DHM, Nepal expressed his gratitude to ICIMOD for the cooperation in installation and upgrade of the hydromet stations as well as for providing support in capacity building of the DHM staffs regarding the flood issues and management. 

Dr. Guna Paudyal from DHI delivers a lecture to the participants

The training included hands on sessions on one dimensional modeling, two dimensional modeling and integrated flood modeling using the Mike Interface. Participants had an opportunity to work with real data to develop a pilot model and analyse the results. Practical sessions were carried out to acquaint the trainees about the modeling system as well as to encourage them to initiate development of basin specific models for their own countries. 

Ajit Kumar Samiyar of Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA) from India said that he was enthusiastic to try the model by himself and found the training very practical and essential. He was determined in disseminating the outcome of the training as well as the learned methodologies into their work. 

Muhammad Nawaz, General Manager of WAPDA, Pakistan highlighted Pakistan’s vulnerability to floods and emphasized on the need to develop a flood forecasting model for the flood affected regions. 

Binod Parajuli from DHM Nepal acknowledged ICIMOD and DHI for conducting the training and accentuated on the need of such training programs for capacity building and transfer of knowledge in future as well. 

The modeling component was carried out as a collaborative approach in which ICIMOD played the lead role. Capacity building of national partner agencies in flood forecasting was a key outcome of this component.

Resource persons from DHI conduct hands on training with the participants