LTR: Dr. Hanneke Schuurmans - project manager FFF App, early warning specialist Royal HaskoningDHV, Dr. Kingsford Asamoah – project manager CREW project (Community Resilience through Early Warning), Brig.Gen. Francis Vib-Sanziri – national coordinator NADMO (National Disaster Management Organization), Daniel Kamau –Resident Director Water West Africa Royal HaskoningDHV, Herman de Jonge – urban water specialist Royal HaskoningDHV
In 2015 floods devastated communities in Ghana’s capital, Accra, killing 150 people. Flood Forecasting water specialists at Royal HaskoningDHV were called in as part of a project funded by the Dutch VIA Water foundation to develop and implement an improved system for flood warnings.
Hanneke Schuurmans of Royal HaskoningDHV, who led the project said: “On a visit to the site of the 2015 flooding it became clear that warnings reached residents too late for them to adequately prepare or evacuate and the lack of real time data meant that the warnings could not be relied upon even once they were broadcast. Sadly the deficiencies in the warning system will have contributed to the distressing number fatalities seen during the 2015 floods.”
“Our app draws on modern satellite data and a new generation of flood modelling to accurately predict the area and extent of possible flooding. By using the free app the residents of Accra will have access to timely and accurate warnings, saving lives and property from the devastating consequences of flooding.”
Royal HaskoningDHV led the project team which included 3Di, Infoplaza and NADMO in Ghana. Using rain storm and hydrological models the app translates data into a warning system which gives 50% greater accuracy and hours more warning notice to users than the existing forecasting and warning systems.
Speaking at the launch event in Accra, Dr Kingsford of NADMO said: “Floods can devastate an area leading to personal tragedy and economic challenges as we sadly witnessed in June 2015. By working with the consortium to develop this fast, accurate warning system we have used the lessons from the past to improve the safety of the local populations.
“The app is now in use and I urge all residents of Accra to download it to help protect themselves and their neighbours from the consequences of flooding.“This launch marks the start of a year-long pilot project in the Accra area. If successful we hope that the app will be rolled out to other areas of increased flood risk.”
To download the app visit Flash Flood Forecasting at Google Play Store.