Khumbu is all set to operate its early warning systems to reduce the impacts of disasters.

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality in Solukhumbu has committed to support and operate the early warning systems that have been installed in the area to reduce the impacts of climate change induced disasters.

The Community-Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project (CFGORRP)—a joint undertaking of UNDP, the Government of Nepal and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)—had installed automatic hydro-met stations and other equipment for the early warning systems in Solukhumbu in 2017. The devices include a radar level sensor, an automatic weather station, a water level sensor, and automatic audio alert sirens for glacial lake outburst floods.

 

On 7 February, a workshop was organized by UNDP in coordination with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) to sensitize the local representatives of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality and Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone Management Committee of Khumbu region on the roles they need to play for the smooth functioning and sustainability of the installed stations and early warning systems.

 

Tashi Lhamu Sherpa, Vice Chair of Khumbu region, appreciated UNDP and the DHM’s efforts in the installation work and assured full responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the early warning systems; he also emphasized on the data and technical support needed for effective operations. The Acting Director General of the DHM, Dr. Jagadishawar Karmacharya, stated that the local government’s approach in operating and maintaining the early warning systems would mitigate disaster risks and help in the sustainable management of the devices. Referring to the local context in the new federal set-up, Senior Programme Officer of UNDP's Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction/ Comprehensive Disaster Risk Redcution Management Programme, Deepak KC, pointed out the necessity of joint collaboration and synergy among local authorities  and the DHM for the smooth functioning and sustainability of the hydro-met stations and early warning systems.

 

Representatives of Gaurishankar and Gosaikunda Rural Municipalities, where similar stations have been installed, too attended the event.  The representatives also expressed their commitment towards the protection of the installed stations and early warning systems.

In 2016, the CFGORRP was successful in helping lower the water level in Imja Lake by 3.4 meters through the construction of an artificial open channel. Currently, UNDP has been working with government partners, donors, and other stakeholders in different areas of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, including the activities of  mitigation, preparedness and early warning  for building resilient communities.

 

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