A child walking under the rain in Cairo - Ashraf Fawzy/Egypt Today
CAIRO - 21 December 2018: Abu Quir’s society had been battling coastal floods and floods caused by a weak and underdeveloped drainage system for decades. However, the past two years have seen much development that led to Abu Quir becoming an example for other cities to follow..
The government worked on strengthening drainage systems and infrastructure, as well as social capital to reduce disaster risk.
How did Abu Quire mitigate against disaster?
Abu Quir’s urban community, which had resorted to the local government, enjoyed many positive changes because of mobilising their social capital. First, the local government instructed the establishment of a research team to identify the vulnerabilities, identifying deteriorating infrastructure, underdeveloped drainage system, and inaccurate weather forecasts as the primary three challenges.
Second, to address these issues, the research committee established an action branch, which established, monitored, evaluated, and maintained the DRR strategies implemented.
Third, the DRR action committee, after consulting scientists at the Alexandria University, rebuilt the deteriorating 16- kilometre seawall and jetties, according to research conducted in 2002.
Fourth, the DRR committee instructed builders to dry-proof the most vulnerable houses based on a vulnerability map developed by researchers.
Fifth, the DRR committee raised awareness on how households could safeguard in-home electrical systems by ensuring that the wires and electrical equipment are placed high. Furthermore, it advised that outdoor equipment be anchored and/or raised.
Sixth, the DRR committee established a route for emergency services, including fire engines, ambulances, army and police vehicles, and trucks with pumps, to take during floods to reach people as quickly as possible. This plan has been practiced multiple times, according to witnesses, and has shown great success during the 2015 flood, explains Khater.
Seventh, the Egyptian government has updated and is continuing to upgrade the drainage system in Abu Quir.
Eighth, newspapers and television channels have been urged to update their weather forecast equipment to allow for more accurate forecasts, as the recent vulnerabilities in the face of the 2015 flood in Abu Quir were partially because of inaccurate weather forecasts.
Since these actions have been taken, the Abu Quir community has, reportedly, suffered significantly less challenges and setbacks because of flooding, making it a great example for other cities and towns facing floods to follow.