NOAH to save the Philippines

Let’s hope the government’s NOAH will help better manage the emergency preparedness and response to the yearly calamities it faces in order to save lives and damage to property.

From Asia Pacific Future Gov

THE PHILIPPINES FORGES PARTNERSHIPS FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

By Clarice Africa | 20 March 2012

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will be working together with two of the country’s major telecommunication companies, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular, to enhance the communication functions of the country’s disaster preparedness system.

According to Mario Montejo, Secretary of DOST, the agency is implementing a two-year river basin approach project called the “National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Programme”, which involves 18 major river basins in the country.

NOAH stemmed from President Benigno Aquino’s issued directive to further improve the country’s disaster risk reduction procedures, after Typhoon Sendong triggered a disastrous flash flooding in several parts of Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, on 17 December 2011.

NOAH aims to respond to the urgent need for a reliable flood warning system in all major river systems and watersheds in the country. It is designed to set up a more responsive disaster preparedness system to reduce loss of lives, and damages to properties due to rain-triggered natural hazards.

It has seven major components, which includes key programmes such as Disaster Risk Exposure (DREAM), Assessment and Mitigation, FLOODNET, Sensors Development and Weather Media.

DOST will be designing the systems and deploy sensors to improve flood monitoring and mitigation. The aforementioned instruments will be installed in the cell sites of Smart and Sun found in key areas within the 18 target river basins.

Smart and Sun also committed to design and implement communications solutions for the early warning, feedback and reporting requirements of DOST’s programme.

“DOST’s collaboration with Smart and Sun demonstrates the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in addressing issues of common concern such as disaster preparedness,” Secretary Montejo said.

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