Workshop Addresses Measures for Coping with Flooding in Palestine

On 23 February 2013, the Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS) at Birzeit University (BZU) held a workshop on measures to cope with flooding in Palestine.nbsp;
Institute Director Abu Madi said that the workshop is part of BZU’s mission to serve the community by complementing the initiatives of partner institutions that aim at reducing the negative effects of low pressure systems.
The first part of the workshop was presented by Moath Abu Saada from the Palestinian Hydrology Group. He provided an historical overview of rainfall amounts in the occupied Palestinian territories during winter. He said that the region is exposed to frequent low pressure systems, which bring heavy flooding every eight to 10 years and that the number of rainy days is increasing and the amount of rainfall is intensifying.
Murad Fuqaha from Gama Consulting gave a second presentation on the damages incurred after the most recent low pressure system in January. He addressed major lessons learned based on evidence from practices in the field.
The workshop, entitled Measures Necessary to Cope with Floods Caused by Low Pressure Systems in Palestine, was attended by BZU’s Vice President for Community Outreach Samia Hilileh, Director General of the Palestinian Meteorological Department Yousef Abu Assad, IEWS Director Maher Abu Madi and a number of local government representatives and organization leaders.
Participants then discussed the mechanisms for coping with flooding, calling for the training of volunteers, the formation of emergency committees, the establishment of operation rooms, nbsp;and the preparing of lists of equipment needed for emergencies. The participants also recommended support for the Palestinian Civil Defense Corps to resolve a lack of equipment and manpower. Additional recommendations will be published and circulated to the authorities.