Automated weather system installed in Gilgit-Baltistan to reduce impact of flash floods

ISLAMABAD: In response to the emergency at Hassanabad due to the surging of Shishper Glacier and formation of a glacial lake, GLOF-II (Glacial Lake Outburst Flood) project sponsored a joint mission of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA) experts to conduct a feasibility and install Automated Weather System (AWS) in the area. As a result, the AWS has now been installed to avoid and reduce the impact of hazards such as flash floods created due to lake outbursts phenomenon.

In addition, after the launch of the project in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, implementation of other activities is being facilitated. By end of the project, at least 250 targeted engineering structures (check dams, mini dams, ponds, spillways, slope stabilization), 50 weather-monitoring stations (28 in GB and 22 in KPK) and 408 river discharge gauges/sensors (238 in GB and 170 KPK) will be installed enabling 100% of households in targeted communities to receive and respond to early warnings and take the appropriate actions following the warning.

Procurement of necessary equipment for Provincial Disaster Management Authorities has been initiated which will strengthen their capacity to properly respond to these kinds of disasters. The project has also initiated work on conducting important feasibility studies in order to identify the potential sites for installation of AWS and development of required infrastructure in order to reduce the vulnerability of local communities. Ministry of Climate Change and UNDP in consultation with relevant provincial departments is closely working to make this first GCF project a success story and are committed to provide their full support to local communities within the project framework.

The USD 37 million Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded “Scaling-up of GLOF risk reduction in Northern Pakistan (GLOF-II)” project is a continuation of the four years “Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities from GLOF in Northern Pakistan” (GLOF-I)” project funded by Adaptation Fund. GLOF-II builds on the measures piloted by GLOF-I and aims to empower communities to identify and manage risks associated with GLOFs and related impacts of climate change and improve community preparedness and disaster response. GLOF-II will scale up GLOF-I from its original two districts (one each in KP and GB) to cover 15 districts, benefiting approximately 29 million people of Pakistan.

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