Development of the Early Warning System to Mitigate the Impact of Natural Disaster in the Dili-to-Ainaro Road

Jul 22, 2015

06 July 2015, UNDP and National Disaster Management Directorate (NDMD) of the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) held its first stakeholder workshop “Design of a model Early Warning System (EWS) for the Dili-to-Ainaro Road Development Corridor (DARDC) at the JL Villa Conference room. The purpose of this workshop was to collect information from government and non-government stakeholders on their capacities and experience in the area of Early Warning Systems. (Tetum version of this article is available)

To communities in Timor-Leste, natural disasters such as floods, landslides and strong winds often have devastating consequences, including postponements and interruption of continuous infrastructural developments. Even though it is not practically possible to avoid all natural disasters, it is still possible to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters. Effective and well established Early Warning Systems, therefore, can be such an essential and cost-effective component of disaster preparedness and response strategies.  

 “The establishment of this EWS will help to alert the community along the Dili-to-Ainaro Road Development Corridor (DARDC) to be prepared for a potential risk of natural disaster and take actions to mitigate the impact.” said Mr. Francisco do Rosario, Director of the NDMD who emphasized that this initiative will be part of the DARDC project which the Government has developed and will implement in cooperation with UNDP and the World Bank.

The main objective of the DARDC project is to protect critical infrastructure along the Dili-to-Ainaro Development corridor from climate-induced natural disasters as well as to protect the community who live along the infrastructure. One of the activities of this project is to support the National Disaster Management Directorate (NDMD) and local Disaster Risk Management (DRM) institutions with the development of a model of EWS to provide advance warning of disaster events.

“The model EWS will cover at least 5,000 households in at least four sub-districts in the Dili-to-Ainaro Development corridor” said Mr. Ralf Ernst, UNDP’s Programme Manager of the DARDC project from UNDP. “Our consultant will combine the inputs from the participants of this workshop to develop a model of EWS for the Dili-to-Ainaro region.”

Further assessment and consultation will be conducted to identify gaps such as capacity gaps and infrastructure needs that prevent successful operation of EWSs. Based on the assessment and consultation, a model EWS will be developed and implemented for the DARDC, tailored to the conditions facing rural communities in Timor-Leste.

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