Deputy Director in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Fedson Chikuse, has described installation of community-based early flood warning systems in flood-prone areas such as Rumphi as shift in the right direction in preventing flood-engineered loss of life and property.
Chikuse made the remarks during a briefing organised for District Civil Protection Committee to brief them on how the technology works at Rumphi Boma on Thursday.
He said the system, which is being piloted in Malawi, would facilitate prompt response to flood-hit areas and save lives and property.
“These gadgets are installed at strategic positions to monitor water levels and if flood-causing readings are recorded, an alarm can be sounded and alert people within a three kilometre radius about an impending flood danger.
“This, if successfully piloted, will help save lives and property in these flood-prone areas such as Rumphi,” he said.
Chikuse further said while the technology is known to work in countries such as India and Nepal among others, Malawi is the only country in Africa where the technology is being piloted.
He then pleaded with people around areas where the water-reading gadgets are being installed to take care of the technology and not vandalise it in order to save lives.
Rumphi District Commissioner, Fred Movete, while describing the early warning system as a welcome development for the district, he asked for proper orientation of people who will be hosting the gadgets in the communities so that the initiative works without hitches.
In Rumphi, the water-level-monitoring gadget known as Data Acquisition Unit has been installed at South Rukuru Bridge.
The gadget is expected to collect data on the river and transmit it to other gadgets installed in flood-prone areas such as Mlowe for action, including activation of an alarm if the data supports such an action.
A focal person will also been identified at district level who will also be able to get readings from the river monitoring system for appropriate action.
The system has also been installed in Karonga.
The project is being funded by Green Climate Fund and coordinated by United Nations Development Fund (UNDP).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :