Experts study flood-prone areas to present possible solutions
Monday, January 30 – Dr. Zoran Vojinovic, an Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Water Education (IHE) in the Netherlands is currently analysing the flood hazard areas of the Virgin Islands.
Dr. Vojinovic and Ms. Garymar Rivera, the Senior Technical Planning Manager at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), will visit locations throughout the Territory and review reports, photographs and video footage of past events. Additionally, they will meet with District Officers and residents from areas that have experienced flooding, to discuss key issues and gain more knowledge about past flood events.
Speaking about his recent projects, Dr. Vojinovic said, “UNESCO IHE has been involved in a number of different activities under the EU/UNDP Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) project. I am personally involved with the flood risk issues in St. Maarten, so I was asked to come and look at the issues here, and propose cost-effective solutions.”
Dr. Vojinovic and his team have done intense work in creating numerical models for coastal and flash flooding in parts of St. Maarten and St. Martin and have proposed a number of natural solutions to both governments.
Dr. Vojinovic is expected to utilise available Geographic Information Systems and hazard data to prepare maps and models that will demonstrate the extent of the possible impact of various flood scenarios that can affect the Virgin Islands. This work will lead to the identification of Mitigation measures to minimise the impact of future flood events on the more vulnerable locations throughout the Territory. On Friday, February 3, he will present a summary of his findings to a number of key stakeholders at the DDM conference room.
Through the work of the R3i Project, the Virgin Islands are expected to receive computer models that will demonstrate how coastal storm surges and tsunami impacts could affect our islands. As a result of the Virgin Islands’ involvement in the R3i Project, the DDM learned of the work being done by Dr. Vojinovic and his team in St Maarten and St Martin, and are in a position to benefit from his expertise. The R3i Project is a 4.9Million Euro regional initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.