Sarakata Flood Mitigation and Early Warning System Gap analysis report

The Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) is implementing the Climate Information Services for Resilient Development in Vanuatu (CISRD), or Vanuatu Klaemet Infomesen blong redy, adapt mo protekt (Van-KIRAP) Project. As the first part of this project, Tonkin & Taylor International Ltd (T+TI) has been engaged to provide technical expertise on the Van KIRAP Project and the Department of Water Resources to review and update existing flood mitigation guidelines for the Sarakata catchment in Espiritu Santo Island, and to support the development of flood early warning systems in Sarakata.This report provides a review of the existing Flood Mitigation Guidelines for Sarakata, Pepsi and Solwei Areas (2011) including the evaluation and identification of gaps in terms of early warning systems and long-term climate change considerations. The review has identified the gaps across governance, institutional arrangements, observations, risk knowledge, warning dissemination, and preparedness and response. The following recommendations are provided to address the identified gaps and to inform the development of updated flood mitigation guidelines:• Strengthened governance and institutional arrangements, relating to:        − Strengthened policies and institutional frameworks at the provincial level including clear roles and responsibilities.          − Clear standard operating procedures for flood early warning system management.      − Development of forums to enable coordination and partnerships.        − Update and finalise the Sarakata Flood Management Plan, including establishment of a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure effective and coordinated governance of flood disaster risk reduction and to foster sustainable development.• Strengthened observation, monitoring, analysis, and forecasting, relating to:      − Additional observational equipment and supporting services and capacity.      − Inclusion of empirical models or probabilistic modelling to inform hazard and risk assessments.• Strengthened disaster risk knowledge, relating to:   − Adoption of hazard thresholds.      − Updating and strengthening risk assessment and risk management practices.• Strengthened warning dissemination and communication, relating to:      − Community-focussed warning and dissemination.        − Community-specific evacuation plans.• Strengthened preparedness and response, relating to:       − Training and capacity building.       − Community-based disaster risk management.       − Grass-roots level involvement.This report will inform the development of a new flood management plan (FMP) and early warning system (EWS) for the Sarakata-Luganville catchment using the existing flood mitigation guidelines, the Sanma Province Disaster Response Plan and other relevant policies and plans.

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