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Disasters don’t wait, and neither should preparedness

Working with partners to embed CBFEWS across levels and scales in Pakistan

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Community-Based Flood Early Warning Systems (CBFEWS) function best when stakeholders – community caretakers, nodal authorities, trainers, and most importantly the community itself – form a strong community-led communication network. Then ownership builds and preparedness grows. Communities and authorities in Pakistan have shown us just that.In November 2021, we helped CBFEWS master trainers – who underwent our training programmes in 2017 and 2018 – train community caretakers of five pilot sites in Gilgit-Baltistan to interpret, verify, and relay warning to downstream communities and nodal authorities. The training, held in Islamabad, also engaged stakeholders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to orient them about this innovative approach for potential uptake. The caretakers also learned how to identify suitable locations for installation and about the mechanics behind the technology.

The master trainers engage with our partners Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), WWF-Pakistan, and Buraq Integrated Solutions (BIS) to ensure timely repair, maintenance, sustainable operation, and post-disaster relief work. This percolates into ownership and knowledge among the community, which lends sustainability to the use of the system.

Based on the success of our CBFEWS pilots in Gilgit- Baltistan, the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) has supported AKAH and our private sector partner BIS to install CBFEWS at five sites in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. We have customised the system for system efficiency and as per site requirements. We also completed technology transfer on manufacturing from Nepal to a local manufacturer, BIS. This has made the equipment economically accessible and sustainable for scaling purposes.

In the Damas and Shigar sites, key local stakeholders have agreed to share responsibility with us, WWF-Pakistan, BIS, and the AKAH for the repair of non-functional CBFEWS sites. Community representatives have committed to ensuring timely monitoring of the technology and regular communication with partners.

Along with our partners, we helped install CBFEWS at five sites in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan, completed technology transfer to a local manufacturer, and trained community caretakers from five sites in Gilgit-Baltistan

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