Phase 4 (2009 Deadline)
Capacity Building in Disaster Risk Assessment and Management Through Training and
Research in Geoinformatics and Hydrometeorological Hazard Risk Reduction Strategies
Yang Hong, University of Oklahoma
Umar Khattak, National University of Sciences and Technology
Pakistani Funding (HEC): $147,513
US Funding (Department of State): $230,000
Project Dates: November 15, 2010 - November 14, 2013 (Extended through June 30, 2014)
Pakistan is a country prone to hydrometeorological disasters, including landslides, droughts, and flooding, as shown in the catastrophic floods that occurred in the summer of 2010. These events underscore the need for a disaster management information system that can present a wide range of relevant data to first responders and policymakers in the right format to aid in decision-making. The ultimate goal of this project is to build Pakistan’s national capacity in natural disaster risk mitigation through training and research in geographical information science, which should help to improve prediction of natural hazards and reduce hydrometeorological disaster fatalities in Pakistan. This effort will be the first of its kind to promote exchanges of technical information between the two countries on disaster impact assessment and management research. The two partner institutions will conduct collaborative research in natural disaster and vulnerability assessment methodologies, and the US partners will conduct training in new interdisciplinary programs in geoinformatics and disaster risk reduction techniques. The project should help to prepare a cadre of professionals for disaster risk assessment and management in Pakistan. Ultimately, losses of life and economic damage due to floods, landslides, and other disasters should be minimized through more effective pre- and post-disaster management.
Economic and societal impact of floods can be reduced by flood monitoring and early warning systems. In most of the developing world, flood warnings are issued couple of days in advance, if at all. This warning time is not enough for evacuation of general masses with their precious belongings and livelihoods. The need for a rapid flood monitoring and warning system in Pakistan became apparent following the 2010 floods. Therefore, this project was implemented and following intended targets are achieved. The main results include:
- Developed capacity of project partners on flood mapping, risk assessment and early warning through numerous face-to-face weekly meetings, discussions and seminars. Trained one Pakistani scholar at OU and 4 Pakistanis students at NUST.
- Established direct linkages and rapport among key stakeholders on flood monitoring research in Pakistan.
- Produced 5 research manuscript related to floods in Pakistan.
- Conducted research on flood evolution throughout Indus River basin during the intense Monsoon Season (July-August) in Pakistan.
- Implemented a flood detection framework that utilizes unconventional satellite remote sensing data and numerical model on a web based flood monitoring syste.
- Adopted a Memorandum of Understanding that guides partnership with key stakeholders for future research and collaboration between in U.S and Pakistan research institutions.
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2011 Show summary || Hide summary
Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Sadiq Khan of the University of Oklahoma began an extended visit to Pakistan on May 31, 2011, to provide training to the counterparts at NUST and participate in crucial meetings with representatives of Pakistani government agencies being asked to collaborate on the project. Dr. Khan and Pakistani project director Dr. Umar Khattak met with senior officials from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), with their discussions focusing on how to establish a more effective flood monitoring system in Pakistan. The feasibility of initiating flood modeling efforts was also addressed. It was decided that a rainfall runoff model would be set up covering the Indus and Jhelum catchments. The PMD director general, Dr. Arif Mahmood, has agreed to cooperate with this joint research team by providing daily precipitation data from selected locations. Meanwhile, meetings at the NDMA focused on how to build linkages between the product team and relevant Pakistani government agencies to disseminate and apply the expected research outputs and promote improved flood monitoring and warning efforts in the country. Dr. Khan remained in Pakistan through early August working with his NUST counterparts on flood model setup and evaluation using data provided by PMD and other stakeholders. Once the model is fully evaluated it will be transferred to the stakeholders, and training seminars and workshops will be conducted at NUST. Unfortunately, the International Conference on Advances in Space Technologies (ICAST) that was to be held in Islamabad July 6-8, 2011 had to be postponed due to security concerns, but it will be rescheduled at a later date. Meanwhile, Dr. Khan and Dr. Hong delivered a presentation on “Multispectral and Microwave Satellite Remote Sensing for Flood Prediction in Data Scarce Environments” at the International Symposium on Earth-Science Challenges held at the University of Oklahoma September 14-16, 2011.
2012 Show summary || Hide summary
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