UNDP experts to help Ivano-Frankivsk region enhance natural disaster prevention and response

Following visits to the communities of Ivano-Frankivsk region that are the most vulnerable to floods, a UNDP team will draw up recommendations on mitigating the consequences of natural disasters

During September 13–16 the team of the UNDP project “Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery from Natural Disasters in Ukraine” conducted a field visit to Ivano-Frankivsk region to assess the area’s needs after flooding, and to draw up a set of recommendations that will enhance the region’s resilience to such natural disasters in future.

For the past several years, Ukraine has suffered serious damage from weather-related natural disasters, such as intense rainfall, thunder storms, hail, etc. Heavy rain in Ivano-Frankivsk region in June 2020 produced catastrophic consequences: Over 250 settlements and more than 13,000 houses were flooded, more than 600 kilometres of roadway and 249 bridges were damaged and/or destroyed. The disaster killed five residents of the region.

"The June disaster was one of the biggest tragedies in the region in the past decade," says Svitlana Onyschuk, head of the Ivano-Frankivsk regional state administration. “As a result of it, roads, bridges and social facilities were damaged in Ivano-Frankivsk region. The disaster caused a lot of trouble to people, destroying their homes, flooding land, and most importantly – it took human lives. To prevent this from happening again in the future, we must unite the efforts of the authorities, of local governments, and with the support of international organizations develop a clear plan of action to combat such phenomena."

The UNDP project team travelled to Ivano-Frankivsk region with the purpose of making an interim assessment of needs after the floods, and developing recommendations to enhance resilience to such disasters in future.

In order to assess need after the floods in Ivano-Frankivsk region in 2020, the UNDP experts met with residents of the most affected communities and conducted working meetings with representatives of local authorities. The project team also visited the communities that were the worst affected, and had the opportunity to inspect the riverbeds of the rivers Prut, Lyuchka, Limnytsia, and Sopivka, as well as riverbank protection structures.

“The river is migrating,” Stepan, a resident of Dobrovlyany, says of the Limnytsia River. “Previously, the riverbed was elsewhere, but the climate is changing, and the river is looking for other ways.”

As part of the field trip, the project team conducted an information session on issues of risk reduction and recovery after natural disasters, which was attended by representatives of departments of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region, along with officials from the regional state administration, the regional centre for hydrometeorology, and the local authorities.

The project team also held a working meeting with the management of Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas, which hosts the Prykarpattia Centre for Forecasting and Preventing Technogenic and Hydroecological Hazards, which was established to develop a system for forecasting and preventing floods. The team learned about the work of the centre, and assessed its needs to put into operation an automated system for monitoring the main meteorological parameters of the Dniester River, which is necessary for flood forecasting and alerting the population.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us on this project,” says Oleksandr Sushchenko, Team Leader, Energy and Environment Portfolio at UNDP Ukraine. “And we will do all that is needed to ensure that its results are a good contribution to enhancing the resilience of the region, preventing disasters in the future, and, most importantly, making the lives of people safer.”

The UNDP project “Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery from Natural Disasters in Ukraine” has been implemented for the past two years and is tasked with providing expert support in the development of regulations, policies and plans aimed at mitigating and preventing the consequences of natural disasters, as well as ensuring recovery after disasters is carried out in the context of achieving sustainable development.