Addressing Flood Risks in Tunisia
A Workshop on Flood Risk Management and Adaptation took place in Gammarth, Tunisia on October 18, 2016. The aim of the training was to increase overall knowledge related to the planning and preparation of flood risk management plans (FRMPs), as well as to enhance professional and inter-institutional dialogue on flood risk management and adaptation.
The training was opened by Ms. Jovanka Ignjatovic, REC Senior Water Management Expert and WATER SUM Project Manager. Ms. Hayet Ben Mansour, Director for Surface Waters, General Directorate of Hydraulic Resources, delivered a welcome note to all participants on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia.
The second session of the workshop laid the groundwork for the day’s proceedings. Local partners from the national water authorities in Tunisia presented an overview of the country’s Flood Risk Management and Adaptation Framework.
In the following session, Mr. Petr Jirinec and Mr. Gergely Palfi from DHI introduced the theme of preliminary flood risk assessment (PFRA). This session gave the participants a general overview of: how to prepare a PFRA, the main reasons for its preparation, and how its outputs can be used. Mr. Jirinec also summarised Europe’s response to severe floods in 2002. After disaster struck, the European Commission launched concerted action at community level to help reduce the severity and damage of flood events, which resulted in the overarching EU Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC).
Session Four introduced the importance of optimal reservoir operation (or, where the Medjerda River basin is concerned, reservoir function) to maximise flood control capacity. The DHI experts explained the fundamental rules and correct procedures – both in theory and in practice (e.g. using MIKE basin software) – to achieve maximum capacity. A concluding practical group exercise centred on basin-scale flood preparedness.
The workshop closed with a series of recommendations related to strengthening flood risk management in Tunisia, such as:
- sharing more international examples to learn more and build on synergic flood risk and hazard mapping processes;
- embracing different approaches for achieving common goals;
- development of flood risk management plans; and
- reducing the effect of floods in Tunisia through strict control of dam operations.