REC mission promotes creating task force with Tunisian ministry to address flood concerns
The WATER SUM project team was in Tunisia on October 10-13, 2017, with the main aim of establishing a Flood Forecasting Early Warning System (FF EWS) task force partnership for the Medjerda river basin between the REC and the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries (MoAHRF).
On October 10-11, the project team was in Gammarth, Tunisia, to participate in a workshop on the validation of Tunisia’s Composite Drought Index (CDI) within the Regional Drought Management System (RDMS) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA RDMS) project. The project focuses on drought risk management through the development of monitoring and early warning systems, and on drought preparedness and mitigation measures.
The working meeting on October 12-13 at the MoAHRF provided an opportunity to discuss details about existing monitoring networks, dam operations and communication networks within the Medjerda River Basin. Close attention was given to the specific flooding characteristics of the Medjerda river basin, including the identification of risk areas and their risk levels. The meeting also produced a clear work plan that includes subtasks, teams for every subtask, and deadlines for every subtask.
On October 12, 2017, the team met at the MoAHRF in Tunis with H.E Abdallah Rebhi, Secretary of State in Charge of Hydraulic Resources.
Following a brief overview of previous project activities and further milestones, provided by Sofian Meddebb, WATER SUM Project Manager Jovanka Ignjatovic cautioned that the nine-month extension period will be consistently challenging. She then highlighted those technical aspects of the WATER POrT project having to do mainly with FF EWS-activities. The task force would be established to ensure coordination between different relevant institutions within the ministry in coordinating FF and EWS-related activities.
H.E Rebhi welcomed the initiative to build up a platform for the ministry’s technicians, noting that this should be carried out using new technologies and experiences to ensure that the pilot tool meets the country’s requirements. Dam monitoring should also be included in the system strategy, he added.
H.E Rebhi emphasised that the EWS will be considered an added value if all stakeholders support the implementation of different project activities — and thereby progressing from an empirical, rudimentary system to a modelled one. The purchase of the first and second clusters of equipment reflects the commitment of the REC towards the project, he stated.
Finally, H.E Rebhi expressed his willingness to follow-up on the project outcomes, as this will open new horizons and opportunities for further collaboration with the REC.