Deltares and Consultec selected to prepare national strategy for the Flood and Cyclone Early-Warning System in Mozambique
Deltares is a major partner in a winning consortium led by Consultec, one of the leading engineering firms in Mozambique. The consortium was selected by the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) to strengthen the capacity for disaster risk preparedness in the provinces of Gaza, Inhambane and Zambézia.
A new strategy
INGD coordinates emergency preparedness and response measures and rapid post-disaster reconstruction at the national level. Expanding on the experiences from previous studies by Deltares and Consultec on the dissemination of early warning information, this project aims to: assess international best practices for early warning; assess the current system and information flow in Mozambique, including the mechanisms for inter-institutional collaboration; and use the findings to develop a strategy for an integrated system that can reach district and community levels.
Dr. Tiago Dray, Consultec’s consortium project director: “Consultec, Deltares and the rest of our consortium is very proud to have won this tender, and looking forward to continue working with the Government of Mozambique and with the World Bank on Disaster Risk Management and Resilience topics.”
From cyclone to citizen
Mozambique is one of the countries most exposed to natural hazards, particularly to hydro-meteorological hazards. The country has an extensive record of severe droughts, floods, tropical storms, and cyclones, which have increased in frequency and intensity over the past four decades, putting vulnerable people, livelihoods, the economy, and infrastructure at risk. Therefore, several actors are involved at different levels of disaster preparedness.
Presently, flood warnings are monitored and issued by the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), while cyclone warnings are handled by the National Directorate of Water Resources Management (DNGRH). INGD disseminates these warnings to the districts and the network of Local Committees for Disaster Risk Management. Despite the efforts of these and other institutions, little is known about how the warnings are contributing to better preparation and a more timely response, as was the case before/after Cyclone Idai.
João Lima Rego, Deltares cyclone expert and consortium sub-project leader: “Mozambican authorities are concerned that cyclone and flood predictions might not be reaching many local communities, due to possible gaps in institutional collaboration, decentralized information, limited coverage, or lack of last-mile connectivity. Our project will investigate and help cover any such gaps.”
Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Program
In the face of extreme or recurring climatic, natural, and anthropic events, Mozambique recently approved a Disaster Risk Reduction Master Plan (2017-2030). To support the Mozambican government in achieving its expected results, the World Bank approved the financing of US $ 96 million for the Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Program.
This ambitious program supports three result areas, one of which is strenghtening early warning. It also includes improving financial protection against disasters and creating climate resilience for vulnerable education infrastructure.
This project started in May 2021 and is expected to last for 5 months. The consortium is formed by Consultec and Deltares, with additional contributions from several other experts at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo and Technische Hochschule Köln in Germany). Input from agencies similar to INGD in other countries with early warning systems will also be arranged (Republic of Mauritius, La Reunion, The Netherlands, Louisiana/USA, South America and Southern Asia). The outcome will be a new national strategy for INGD that addresses both the technical aspects of early warning systems and alert dissemination, and the inter-institutional cooperation and flow of information.