Title: Strengthening the Early Warning System (EWS) of the Dominican Republic Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Country: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Germany Lead executing agency: In Mexico: Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID); In the Dominican Republic: Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD) Overall term: 2018 to 2020
An early warning system for disasters can save lives and substantially reduce the cost and damage sustained. The Caribbean, in particular, has some catching up to do here, not least due to the impacts of climate change. Better access to early warning systems for the population as well as improved response plans in the regions would increase the local people’s and institutions’ resilience and adaptability.
This project is based on an extensive analysis of the early warning system for hydrometeorological phenomena in the Dominican Republic. It observes evaporation, the transport of water vapour, and precipitation as well as interactions with the hydrosphere. The system was created in 2017 with the involvement of relevant stakeholders from risk management and the early warning system. The analysis concluded that the population’s access to key information in advance of disasters needs to be improved to ensure that they are warned in time. This is particularly important against the background of the extreme weather phenomena that are becoming increasingly frequent in the Caribbean. There is also much to be done in connection with communication technologies. For example, the region needs a platform for exchange of information. In order to develop this, all processes and products that are relevant during the warning phase must first be identified.
Communication and advance warning by the early warning system for hydrometeorological phenomena in the Dominican Republic have been improved at all the institutions involved.
The project assists the emergency centre and the responsible public institutions in Dominica. It provides support with revising the concepts and guidelines for the Dominican Early Warning System by making technical aids simpler and more specialised. In future, the warning messages should be more specifically and personally addressed to the population and, in this way, change their behaviour in the event of an emergency.
The project has identified various priority areas for this. For this reason, the first step involves expanding the range and services of the Dominican Early Warning System for informing the public. The project is also providing support with integrating local early warning systems for flooding into the national system. Here, the priority is on creating standards. In addition, the project is working on the specific requirements of a communications platform between the local and state actors that are relevant for taking action. The platform is to be linked to the media.