UNDP launches early warning system on floods in Wadi Musa, Petra
Under the patronage of Chairman of Petra Development Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) Dr. Mohammad AL Nawafleh, United nation development programme (UNDP) launched on August 20th an "Early Warning System for Flash Floods" in Petra and Wadi Mousa. The Launch comes as part of UNDP’s support to the PDTRA in the domain of Disaster Risk Reeducation and Climate Change Adaptation and represents an attempt the mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacities in local development project funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and cost shared by the Government of Jordan and PDTRA.
The Early warning system works to inform potential flood threats in Wadi Musa and Petra before happening; which minimizes material loss and save lives through the adaptation of responsive evacuations plans. The installation of the early warning system originated through a successful partnership with the Department of Meteorology who provides technical support, their experienced staff were trained on the system specifications and readings techniques.
Cooperation between PDTRA and Department of Meteorology will continue to maintain the early warning system functionality and expand the area it covers. UNDP country Director, Ms. Zena Ali Ahmed highlighted the importance of the early warning system and mentioned that Petra have been affected by several floods since 1963 to 2013 which caused lives and property losses" she also added " This system comes as a contribution from the United Nations Development Programme supported from the Swiss Agency for Development, government of Jordan and Petra Development Tourism Region Authority to protect lives".
On the other hand, vice chairman of the PDTRA, Dr. Imad Hijazeen stressed the vital role of this system in the region which contributes to protection of lives and properties as well as the archaeological values of Petra, he also added that the early warning system is an essential need to contain floods and the need of it came after thorough studies resulted to a comprehensive map shows potential risks of floods, earthquakes and landslides that might threaten the region" Mr. MAsalha also said: "the Map was prepared in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme with the financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ".
At the end of ceremony, attendees toured the location of the installed early warning system and received a detailed explanation of its functioning from technical engineers.