During the last 20 years, the Czech Republic has been struck by extreme floods of great extent, numerous flash floods of local importance and uncommon natural disasters such as tornado in 2013.
Global climate change may contribute to more extreme weather events like these and communities need to be ready.
Dolni Berkovice, a village with 1.500 inhabitants in the Central Bohemia Region, has always been endangered by the river Elbe.
However, no one remembers the floods to be as destructive as in the last decade.
The village has been flooded three times in 11 years.
The first floods came in 2002, followed by flood in 2006 and lastly in 2013. Even though plenty of work on mitigation measures has been done and a functional and effective rescue system has been established, the protection of vulnerable inhabitants has still many gaps.
ACT member Diaconia ECCB – The Centre for Relief and Development has launched a project named “Resilient Municipality” with goal of promoting resilience of communities such as Dolni Berkovice to fill in these gaps. Since it is a community managed disaster risk reduction project, the inhabitants themselves identify the unresolved issues and they will achieve the positive change with our guidance and support.
It is not all about flood barriers, but more about accepting the responsibility of their own protection and also the safety of their neighbors.
So far, the project is being run in three communities – Dolni Berkovice, Terezin in Northern Bohemia and Sobeslav in Southern Bohemia. It is a pilot project and such activities had never been implemented in the context of the Czech Republic before.