Nepal's early-warning system reduces flood fatalities
Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has been working with NGOs to develop disaster management systems — including river-level monitoring equipment, a community-based system where volunteers upstream alert those downstream about dangerous water levels, and a comprehensive network of hydro-meteorological stations.
The data is collated on the official government online portal, and automatic alerts are sent out via SMS and radio broadcasts to affected areas.
"It's not only about monitoring the hazard, but also reaching the communities that actually need to act on those on those warnings," Toscano-Rivalta explained, emphasising the importance of building early warnings systems with consideration to local knowledge and specific cultural and socio-economic contexts.
In particular, he said, including women — who are often disproportionately affected by sudden-onset disasters — in decision-making processes and volunteer committees is vital for an inclusive disaster response.
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