H2i Balkans and USAID host event on best practices in flood risk management

H2i Balkans and USAID host event on best practices in flood risk management

SARAJEVO, May 10 (FENA) – The event “Benefits of Operational Flood Management” was held today in Sarajevo, organized by “H2i Balkans”, supported by the USAID project “Diaspora Invest”.

The lecture was opened by Director of “H2i Balkans” Višnja Ćorić-Babović, expressing hope that today’s event, which gathered representatives of relevant water management institutions in BiH, is just the beginning in the transmission and application of good practices from Singapore to BiH.

This event is dedicated to the transfer of knowledge from Singapore to BiH regarding the regulation of early warning system for floods and flood forecasting system. The participants talked about the need to engage all levels of government in this process, include good practices from other parts of the world, with an innovative approach of using available data in this sector.

The lecturers talked about different segments of management and predicting flood risks.

The founder of the Hydroinformatics Institute in Singapore and professor at the National University of Singapore, Vladan Babović, said that the floods cannot be controlled, but an early warning system can help predict when the floods would occur.

“The system presented today is for smaller communities, to give them enough time to react. We are trying to issue warnings as soon as possible to give people enough time. If the community is located extremely upstream, it cannot be more than 12 hours ahead, but if it is downstream then a warning can be issued ahead for about couple of days,” Babović said.

He pointed out that the early warning system is extremely important, because people can react in a certain way, and above all, it protects the lives, the economy, etc.

Babović also noted that they are helping communities in this way, and the warning can be issued either through tablets, smartphones, or through the WhatsApp messaging so it gets to the people as early as possible.

Organizers of today’s gathering pointed out that the early warning system for floods and flood forecasting system are, to a great extent, efforts that require the involvement of all levels of government, with modeling and warning systems being established as a national infrastructure based on significant investments.

“In the absence of such systems, “H2i” has developed an alternative solution based on local observations, limited hydraulic and hydrological modeling, combined with scientific data to create highly reliable local operating systems for forecasting floods and flood risk,” say the organizers.

The USAID’s Diaspora Invest project supports companies that, in addition to investing in capital and job creation in our country, thanks to the links with the Diaspora, also bring an important component of the transfer of knowledge and good practices from abroad.

“One such example is “H2i Balkans”, which has received support through our grant program for encouraging investment from the Diaspora,” stated the USAID “Diaspora Invest” project.