Egypt

National Correspondent:   
Lt. Col. Sameh BASSEM
General Administration of Civil Protection
Email: civilprotection.eg@gmail.com
Web site: http://www.moiegypt.gov.eg/english/default
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National News Highlights

Housewives in Cairo learn how to prevent accidents or disasters through awareness workshops

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egwMore than 200 housewives, living in the poorest areas of Cairo, have participated to 4 training days organized by the Egyptian Civil Protection and increased their awareness and understanding about house risks that lead to accidents,  how to respond to emergencies and how to prevent health risks  they and their children face in the daily life.

Hanan Salama, a housewife from Kalaat EL Kapsh says, "Having learnt from one of my relatives about the awareness activity held earlier in Zeinhum Area, and how she learnt about correct practices at home, I was eager to participate and learn from such helpful activity. After  this training day, when I went back  home I decided to l change too many wrong habits I had before and  to l teach my three children, particularly my daughter Noor how to be careful while using kitchen equipment and electricity as well. I will also talk to my relatives and neighbours about my experience today."

During the four workshops for housewives - held in Zeinhum, Kalaat El Kapsh and Misr Al Kadima areas in Cairo in collaboration with the Egyptian Red Crescent and supported by the EU-funded PPRD South Programme - with a large diversity of backgrounds and age ranging from 18 to 70 years, housewives showed great interest and were quite interactive with the Civil Protection officers.

egw2"Building upon the experience gained during the first workshops for housewives, we are now improving more and more and are giving them basic and essential information about different hazards, whether at home or in the surrounding environment, with relation to different causes, like electricity, chemicals, gas or other. With the aim to better enhance the quality of our workshops we added practical exercises and let the housewives themselves experience the correct and the wrong practices, says Lt. Col. Sameh Basseem, from the Egyptian Civil Protection and coordinator of the project. If they see in practice how to secure the home against all types of risks, they will surely be convinced about the best methodology to follow.

Adding to the agenda an open discussion between the housewives and the civil protection officers was a real successful idea. “It helps us explore the real subjects we have to focus on during present and future activities", states Lt. Col. Sameh Bassem.

Within the same project just carried out, and with the same aim to increase awareness, the Egyptian Civil Protection has organized further six campaigns in schools, in the same Cairo districts, reaching 1,800 students. In each school the main items concerning health risks, risks of accidents but also risks of disasters such as collapses of buildings and earthquakes were introduced and discussed. The campaign aimed at enabling students to protect themselves from and deal with the consequences of such risks.

 

Video on PPRD South awareness raising in schools in Egypt

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egypt_awaTV news broadcasted by the Egyptian state Channel One on the Third “Civil Protection School Day” organized at the El Quraan Primary School in Helwan, south of Cairo, by the Egyptian General Administration of Civil Protection as awareness activity within the EU-funded PPRD South Programme.

The PPRD South public risk awareness raising project in Egypt is supervised by the General Administration for Civil Protection and the Egyptian Red Crescent. The project is focusing on 5 poor districts in the Eastern part of Cairo. During the 8 events foreseen for schools and for housewives, the main issue and message to pass focuses on health, hygiene and risk of accidents.

Six events were already organized at the Red Crescent headquarters in Cairo in July and October 2011 respectively to target each around 200 school-children and 75/80 housewives.

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No life casualties in Egypt thanks to an EU funded early warning system project for flash floods

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flaflom3In February 2010, when the worst flash flooding event hit Egypt since 1994 resulting in significant damage and seven deaths, the Flash Flood Manager (FlaFloM) system was used to successfully predict flooding in the Sinai area. In fact, in the pilot area where the FlaFloM early warning system was running, no casualties were reported.

The Belgian-Egyptian EU funded project FlaFloM has designed and implemented an integrated flash flood management plan for the Wadi Watier area of South Sinai. It consists of an innovative early warning system, a master plan for flash-flood management and an emergency response plan.

Although the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt suffers from severe water shortages, flash floods, when they occur in the region, cause loss of life, soil erosion, accidental pollution and severe disruption to regional development. The basin of Wadi Watier covers an area of 3,600 km² and flows into the Gulf of Aqaba at Nuweiba City, an important tourist hub  - besides the major resort of Sharm El-Sheikh located on a narrow floodplain between the sea and the Sinai Mountains. During desert storms on the El Egma plateau (1,400m above sea level and only 30 km upstream from Nuweiba City), flash floods carry large amounts of sediments and debris downstream, flooding Nuweiba City.

flaflom1The FlaFloM project began in 2007 and was completed in 2009. It was coordinated by the Egyptian Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) and the Belgian consultant company SORESMA together with the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels (VUB). The main result of the project is an accurate flash flood early warning system which can provide the necessary lead-time for local authorities to take emergency actions to minimize the number of victims and limit damage to property.

The FlaFloM system consists of four modules: 1) a Data gathering module, 2) a Forecasting module, 3) a Decision support module and 4) a Warning module. Each module processes input data and sends the output to the following module. In case of a flash flood emergency  FlaFloM is able to send in time a flood warning to the decision-makers in the area.

flaflom2The ideal flash flood detection and early warning system would require water level, discharge and rainfall data collected through real-time field measurements and external forecasts. However, the project, as occurs in many arid flash flood prone areas, was confronted with data scarcity and insufficient knowledge in the flash flood driving forces. To overcome this bottleneck, the project developed rainfall intensity maps derived from two global satellite instruments:  the weather research and forecasting model (WRF) and satellite estimates from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).

The project also developed a master plan for flash-flood management, including the identification of best-storage options and suitable flood-protection measures, in view to contribute to sustainable management of water resources and wise use of floodwater in arid areas, and an emergency response plan in coordination with the local authorities.

FlaFloM project web site

An early warning system for flash floods in Egypt

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National Civil Protection Conference in Egypt: being better prepared for disasters

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nosierThe thirtieth National Civil Protection Conference was organized on 18-22 December 2010 at the Headquarters of the General Administration of Civil Protection, in Cairo, Egypt.

The meeting gathered all the Civil Protection directors for the 29 governorates of the Arab Republic of Egypt . The conference was chaired by General Nossier, General Director of the Egyptian Civil Protection.

The main objectives of the conference was to identify how to better provide civil protection services to the Egyptian population, to identify the key problems encountered by Civil protection officers in their daily work and to discuss possible solutions.

During the 5 days event the existing laws and regulations for civil protection in Egypt were reviewed and gaps were identified along with the requirements for necessary developments and improvements. The currently available civil protection capacities in the Egyptian governorates were assessed along with the required enhancements. In this respect all conference participants agreed that additional resources are necessary to enhancing disaster preparedness and response at local level all around the country.

nosier2Participants also addressed the importance to improve the collaboration and coordination with the scientific sector in view to increase the National Civil Protection capacities for prevention, preparedness and response to natural and  man-made disasters disaster. This improved collaboration requires the development and utilization of new technological tools, in particular the early warning systems, new working procedures and the development of the technical capacities within the institution.

Providing more effective civil protection services to the Egyptian population – conference participants concluded – is first of all a matter of ensuring better organization and coordination of the available resources. A better “operational planning” effort will ensure a enhanced working mechanism among the different forces involved in civil protection. In addition to that, the importance of increasing awareness raising initiative, mostly addressed to housewives and school children, was indicate as a national priority.

Egyptian National Correspondent
Col. Sameh Bassim

 
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