A day of bright sunshine at Wilton Park rather incongruously kicked off our meeting on Flooding in the Greater Horn of Africa: building effective early warning systems. The event, organised in association with the Met Office, the UK’s national meteorological service, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), brought together delegates from national meteorological and hydrological services in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region, intergovernmental institutions, the World Bank and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The event provided a crucial opportunity to share good practice in better disseminating warnings for flooding in the region, particularly to remote and rural areas, which will help to safeguard lives, livelihoods and property.
Whilst the discussions highlighted the need to improve and enhance early warning systems in the GHA, they also demonstrated the continued relevance of the UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) EWS checklist.
2017 will see the first Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) since the historic agreement of the Sendai Framework for DRR in 2015. A great deal has changed since the EWS checklist was first developed and, thanks to the Sendai framework, the global landscape has significantly shifted. Given the significance of 2017 to the global DRR community, the event came at the right time to review the cornerstone of a great deal of DRR work, the UNISDR EWS checklist, to ensure it remains relevant to the global community for the next 10 years.