Back to success stories

From the HKH to Africa

70% Complete

Our CBFEWS success inspires a flood intervention project in Malawi

From the HKH to Africa

Much like our HKH countries, Malawi in southeastern Africa is highly vulnerable to water-related disasters. In 2015, Malawi experienced extensive flooding, affecting around 1 million people, displacing 350,000, and killing hundreds. In our role as a globally relevant knowledge centre, we have shared information and experiences implementing the community-based flood early warning system (CBFEWS) to assist communities and government agencies in responding to floods.

With our partner Sustainable Eco Engineering (SEE), we are providing technical support to the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in implementing a United Nations Development Programme-supported project that will setup up low-cost CBFEWS in eight flood-prone districts of Malawi.

This work involves supporting the design of appropriate early warning systems to suit local conditions and providing technical backstopping to RCMRD and SEE. To share our learning associated with sustainability, we are providing trainings of trainers to national and district government officers and partners so that they can, in turn, train community-based officers and CBFEWS caretakers at the local level. Given the prior successes of CBFEWS, this technology transfer from the HKH to Africa will help save the lives and livelihoods of flood vulnerable communities.

CBFEWS SUCCESS IN THE HKH

CBFEWS is a set of simple instruments installed upstream to detect floods and generate flood signals that are communicated to downstream communities. As the information is near-real time, it increases lead time to prepare for effective flood response.

Our experience with CBFEWS goes back a decade, during which we have set up simple, low-cost instruments in upstream areas of flood-prone rivers in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, providing near-real time flood information to downstream communities. The impact has been instrumental. Our CBFEWS was able to share life-saving information during a flood event in Dihiri village, Assam, India, for which it was recognized with the UNFCCC Momentum for Change 2014 Lighthouse Activity Award in the Information and Communications Technology category. The system was able to alert downstream communities along Gilgit River in Sher Qilla, Pakistan, during the flood of June 2017. And the impact has been transboundary, as crucial early warning was shared from Lalgadh, Nepal, to downstream communities in Sarpallo and across the border in Bhitthamore, India, during the flooding of Ratu River in August 2017.

We need to enhance the preparedness of vulnerable communities by providing climate services; share data, information, and scientific and indigenous knowledge; and foster transboundary disaster risk reduction practices. Targeted risk reduction strategies should reach the poorest and most marginalized.(Paraphrased from ICIMOD 2020, COVID-19 impact and policy responses in the Hindu Kush Himalaya)

8 Jul 2021 RMS
Bouncing back better

ICIMOD partner SABAH Nepal helps all-women team make the best of a crisis

Yak as a landscape connector

Regional cooperation on yak conservation benefits forged through events and networks in the Kanchenjunga Landscape

14 Aug 2020 SERVIR-HKH
Regional Drought Monitoring Outlook System for South Asia launched

Near-real time monitoring of droughts through reliable indicators

Freshwater ecosystem assessment handbook

We are working with the Forest Research and Training Centre, Government of Nepal, on a freshwater ...

When the World Shakes

After a massive earthquake, ICIMOD responded with data, analysis, relief, and government support in the Koshi basin On 25 April 2015 ...

A UIBN Gender Resource Group for Pakistan

Promoting gender-inclusive research, networking, policy making, and action on the water- and climate change- related issues

18 Jul 2022 REEECH
Breaking the bias

As part of our efforts to promote investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation, the Renewable Energy and Energy ...

18 Jul 2022 HKPL
Harnessing partnerships to address food insecurity

Fodder shortage in the winter is a major concern for farmers and households in the Hindu ...