Problem: Moldova’s varying climate and vulnerability to disasters impacts its economy, environment and population
Solution: Strengthen capacity at a national level with a weather monitoring network and improved forecasts
Benefits: Disaster mitigation reduces economic loss whilst protecting people and their property
Implemented by: Campbell Scientific and The World Bank
STRENGTHENING RESILIENCE THROUGH A NATION-WIDE WEATHER NETWORK
Moldova is vulnerable to many natural hazards, specifically floods, droughts, frost and wind storms. In recent years, these hazards have turned into serious disasters. The severe drought in 2007 impacted 90% of the country’s territory and 80% of the population. A flood one year later had similar devastating effects with the majority of those affected being women and children. Experts expect that the frequency and intensity of similar disasters will only increase in the coming years.
Ranked as the poorest country in Europe by the IMF, Moldova’s vulnerability to disasters has been heightened by its lack of capacity to respond to extreme weather events. Without the equipment and tools necessary to forecast weather properly, warnings and safety measures have lacked effectiveness.
Mitigation is defined as “the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something”, and in the case of disasters, to reduce the loss of life and damage to property. The lack of mitigation measures were identified as a key issue impacting the development of Moldova and the safety of its people.
To address this issue, a World Bank funded project was launched with the aim to improve the weather station network to enable experts to make more timely and accurate forecasts.
Campbell Scientific supplied and installed their weather stations at strategic locations throughout the country. The stations measure weather conditions and transmit the data to the experts at the National Meteorological Centre.
The data is then processed and analyzed to produce accurate forecasts and where necessary, severe weather warnings including drought and flood forecasts. The forecasts are then used by the government and other national institutions to issue warnings to prevent loss of life and reduce the impact of disasters ahead of time.
• Modern weather stations are necessary for measuring real-time weather conditions throughout the country
• The information collected leads to improved forecasts that strengthen national capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, particularly flooding and droughts
• Disaster risk mitigation measures are more costeffective than post-disaster actions
• Benefits are felt throughout the region as disasters often impact Moldova’s neighbouring countries
Importance of Disaster Risk Mitigation
The project contributes to the objectives of the Sendai Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals by implementing national strategies that impact vulnerable sectors and communities. Nation-wide weather stations and accurate forecasts ensure that exposure and impact to climate related events are reduced. Initiatives such as this need to continue to mitigate disaster risks in the region and around the world.