Overall objective: Reduce the environmental, economic and social
impact of natural disasters and hazards by timely notifying and informing citizens and public authorities.
Specific objective: To collaboratively design and pilot a new early warning system in flood-prone regions
of the Prut river in Ukraine (UA) and Moldova (MD) that can be scaled up to national levels.
Moldova’s and Ukraine’s economies, populations, and environments are highly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards (e.g. landslides, floods, droughts, late spring frosts) due to a combination of geographical factors and inappropriate land use practices (erosion). In the region between Ukraine and Moldova runs the Prut river basin, covering a territory of almost 28,000 km2. As the Prut river crosses international borders, when flooding occurs across borders, communities and authorities on the other side of the border may receive late warnings, which inflicts on the effective management of emergencies and reduces communities’ resilience. Floods in this region have caused major losses and financial damage in Ukraine and Moldova. Even though there have been multiple efforts to diminish these losses, such as better emergency management and the construction of flood defences, communities in the Chernivtsi region of Ukraine and the northern region of Moldova do not have integrated emergency warning systems in place to warn them of potential flood hazards. That means that when floods occur in Ukraine, communities in Moldova do not receive early warning and are not able to adequately prepare. It is imperative to increase the capacity of local authorities in these regions to be able to quickly and efficiently respond to such emergencies and to increase communities’ resilience.
The current condition of early warning systems in Moldova and Ukraine are unacceptable as they reduce communities’ resilience towards addressing natural disasters and hazards. The systems are not integrated with one another (both regionally and across borders), there is a lack of automatic communication, which delays the transmission of warning messages to communities that might be affected by a potential emergency. Insufficient warning systems have caused 12% of the total losses caused by floods in the Prut river region. Historically, little or no emphasis was put towards early warning systems in either Moldova or Ukraine. New measures must be taken to increase communities’ resilience.
The project will install modern systems in 5 localities in Ukraine, Chernivtsi (Kostychany, Koschulyany, Molnytsya, Negryntsy, Novoivankovtsy) and 4 localities in northern Moldova (Criva, Drepcauti, Sireuti, and Lipcani). The sirens will in total reach 10,622 people in Moldova and 8,400 people in Ukraine – with a total estimated direct impact of 19,022 inhabitants. These communities have been identified as highly vulnerable to the risks of flooding. The other result of the project will be cross-border mechanism of communication between partners so that warning will be more effective.
This project is also seen as the pilot with the results that can be replicated in the other parts of the country.