Expert talks about new flood risk guide
By Dizery Salim
GENEVA, 1 May 2012 - "Cities and Flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for the 21st Century" has just been published by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
UNISDR was at the Geneva launch and got a short interview with one of the guide's lead authors, Abhas K. Jha, who leads the World Bank programme for disaster risk management in east Asia and the Pacific.
"If I had to capture the whole guidebook into one sentence I would say 'get the balance right.' Often policymakers err on the side of structural measures -- hard-engineered structures like dams and dykes. They are valuable, but do not solve the problem on their own," said Mr. Jha.
"There should be a balance between concrete-in-the ground, bio-engineering like mangrove plantation and coastal strengthening, and non-structural measures like early warning systems and better land-use planning."
"The World Bank's research has found that investing in early warning systems have tremendous pay-offs. It's one of the best investments that a country can make. In the case of Russia, we found that investing in hydro-meteorological services, including early warning systems, a dollar invested can save up to eight dollars later on."