Warning systems being installed to predict Glofs

Published February 19, 2023
A view of Badsuwat area after being hit by the glacial lake outburst flood. — Dawn
A view of Badsuwat area after being hit by the glacial lake outburst flood. — Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Early warning systems for future disasters such as Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (Glofs) are being installed in 24 most vulnerable valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The initiative has been started under the Glof-II project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

For any future disaster, these systems will provide timely warning for safe evacuations, the UNDP said.

The systems are expected to function from March till September.

UNDP project underway in 16 valleys of GB and eight valleys of KP

According to the UNDP’s progress report, the project included procurement of early warning systems for 24 valleys, completion of 28 irrigation schemes, slope stabilisation on 160 hectares of land, setting up community-based disaster risk management committees as well as hazard watch groups, GIS mapping, bio-engineering feasibility and forest surveys, etc. The project is underway in 16 valleys of GB and eight valleys of KP.

It aimed to empower communities to identify and manage risks associated with Glofs and related impacts of climate change, strengthen public services to lower the risk of disasters and improve community preparedness and disaster response, the report added.

The project will also support the development of sustainable options for livelihoods in the valleys, with a particular focus on the participation of women.

As part of the project, the ministry of climate change and the UNDP Pakistan held a training for government officials and technical teams. They were taught how to assemble, install, commission and operate the early warning systems.

The intervention is aligned with the government and UNDP’s mandate to mainstream environmental concerns into national and sub-national development planning processes, the report added.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2023

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