Effectiveness of flood early warning system from the perspective of experts and three affected communities in urban areas of Pakistan

Irfan Ahmad Rana, Saad Saleem Bhatti, Ali Jamshed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Pakistan has faced frequent flash and riverine flooding in the recent decades. This study evaluates the effectiveness of flood EWS from the perspectives of local experts/institutions and communities. Interviews and consultations with the local experts (13 officials from government and other concerned departments) were carried out to understand the institutional challenges in communicating early warnings, whereas three flood-prone communities from different-sized cities (Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Muzaffargarh) were surveyed. A total of 210 samples were collected through household questionnaire surveys to assess their understanding of the local warning system. The analysis revealed that almost half of the community respondents did not receive a warning last time when the flood occurred. Variations were also observed regarding the main source of early warning in the three communities. This study identifies institutional challenges, such as lack of (1) resources to keep an EWS equipment operational; (2) community trust; and (3) proper guidelines to communicate warnings. The study calls for an immediate revision of strategies to communicate early warnings to the end-users and to incorporate their feedback in designing/redesigning the early warning mechanisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Hazards
    Early online date10 Apr 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2020

    Keywords

    • Flood risk management
    • preparedness
    • risk communication
    • risk perception
    • urban flooding

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