In the Field with CREWS: Delving into Early Warning Systems and Community-Based Flood Management in Cambodia and Lao PDR

In the Field with CREWS: Delving into Early Warning Systems and Community-Based Flood Management in Cambodia and Lao PDR

26 Jan 2024

Tbong Khmum province, Cambodia

From January 22 to 26, 2024, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) facilitated a high-level delegation visit to Cambodia and Lao PDR. Comprising participants from contributing member countries of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative, including the French Climate Ambassador, as well as representatives from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and the World Bank, the delegation aimed to deepen insights into disaster preparedness and management at national and sub-national levels in both countries.

In Cambodia, the delegation conducted institutional visits to key institutions such as the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM). These visits fostered open dialogues between national authorities and development partners, addressing challenges and refining strategies in disaster management.

A pivotal aspect of the mission involved a field visit to the Chiroti Muoy Commune in Tbong Khmum Province, Cambodia. Guided by the CREWS initiative, ADPC collaborated with the Partnership for Development in Kampuchea (Padek) and NCDM to implement community-based flood management (CBFM) in the area. This pilot initiative focused on empowering the community to develop self-help capabilities and preparedness for potential flood events.

The field visit facilitated meaningful exchanges between local authorities, community leaders, and the delegation. Discussions revolved around evaluating the effectiveness of existing early warning systems, assessing community preparedness measures, and understanding the support provided by CREWS. The collaborative engagement also aimed to identify gaps and opportunities for future support, not just in this specific location but also in similar contexts.

In Laos, the delegation engaged with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW). The focus was on projects funded by the World Bank, particularly the installation of 70 hydromet stations across the country. This initiative, designed to fortify the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology's capabilities for weather monitoring and forecasting, was observed during visits to hydro and meteorological stations in Oudomxay province.

ADPC is supporting the implementation of activities in Cambodia and Lao PDR under the framework of the CREWS initiative. The initiative supports the strengthening of early warning systems and risk information by enhancing the capacities of national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) and national disaster risk management organizations (NDMOs).