Local Needs and Constraints for the Implementation of Cost-Effective Community-Based Early Warning Systems

Community-Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project (CFGORRP), aims to reduce the human and material losses from GLOFs in Solukhumbu District and catastrophic flooding events in the Terai and Churia Range through community-based EWSs (CBEWSs). The project covers 11 VDCs of five river basins of five project districts.

This study requires supplementary information and data to identify the available knowledge base and constraints for the successful implementation of community based early warning systems (CBEWSs). A detailed socio-economic and technical study with effective analysis will serve as a comprehensive review of CBEWS. Similarly, specific local needs and constraints are to be identified for the implementation of CBEWSs in up- and downstream communities. The main objectives of this study are to identify cost-effective and sustainable CBEWSs for GLOFs in Solukhumbu, and to identify cost-effective and sustainable CBEWSs for floods in the Terai plains.

This study is based on fieldwork and consultations with stakeholders at the macro and micro levels in the project communities. As suggested by UN/ISDR (2006) an ESW covers major four components: (i) Risk Knowledge, (ii) Monitoring and Observation, (iii) Communication and Dissemination, and (iv) Response Capacity. To be effective, an EWS must incorporate all four components and all must be equally strong. Project documents and relevant literature were reviewed before preparing checklists and guidelines for the fieldwork. Appropriate tools and guide questions in the form of checklists were designed to elicit from project stakeholders and beneficiaries the needs for and constraints on the implementation of CBEWSs. To ascertain what the residents near the watershed under study think about the constraints and need of EWS, a quantitative analysis was conducted using a semi-structured survey of 192 respondents. The study team undertook gap analysis of technical and socio-economic aspects and identified the needs and constraints such as challenges, practical issues, and precautionary measures for implementing a cost-effective and workable CBEWS.