After analysing the risks of flooding in the most vulnerable communities in the Bukovyna region, a UNDP project team has drawn up recommendations on disaster risk reduction and recovery

UNDP representatives talk to community members near the River Cheremosh in the village of Banyliv, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, September 2021. Photo: Yevgenia Rudnytska / UNDP Ukraine

Floods in Chernivtsi Oblast are hugely damaging to the wellbeing of the area, destroying infrastructure and homes, and threatening people’s lives and health. In 2020, floods caused by extensive heavy rain destroyed or damaged five state roads, flooded dozens of households in 17 villages, and eroded access roads to villages.

"There is flooding because the riverbed is not being taken care of – before, they were constantly being cleaned,” says Oleksiy, a resident of the village of Banyliv in Chernivtsi region, speaking about the River Cheremosh.

Conducting an interim needs assessment following the floods, experts from UNDP’s “Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery from Natural Disasters in Ukraine” project  met with representatives of the Regional State Administration and State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Chernivtsi region, experts in water basin management of the rivers Prut and Siret from Chernivtsi regional center for Hydrometeorology, and representatives of the most affected communities in the region. The project team also inspected the beds of the rivers Prut and Cheremosh, and respective hydrological and riverbank protection structures in the Chernivtsi Oblast villages of Luzhany, Banyliv, Dubyvtsi, and Vashkivtsi.

During the visit, the project team also organized an information session on countering disasters and disaster recovery for personnel of the State Emergency Service in Chernivtsi Oblast, National Police and other services. The UNDP experts shared their expertise in disaster risk management, outlined the key principles and priority guidelines of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction 2015-2030 and discussed strategic points for disaster risk reduction as a tool to strengthen resilience to floods. Special focus was placed on the efficient coordination of the various emergency services in the case of flooding, and appropriate measures to increase preparedness to tackle flood damage.

Participants of the UNDP information session “Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery” in the office of the State Emergency Service in Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, September 2021. Photo: Yevgenia Rudnytska / UNDP Ukraine

Oleksandr Sushchenko, UNDP Ukraine Energy and Environment Portfolio Team Leader, said the team’s efforts and joint work with the emergency services was helping the oblast become better prepared for possible weather disasters.

“It’s our joint goal to do everything it takes to make people’s lives safer, and I’m certain that together with our partners we’ll be able to achieve this,” Sushchenko said.

UNDP’s “Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery from Natural Disasters in Ukraine” project has been implemented for the past two years. It is tasked with providing expert support in developing regulations, policies and plans to mitigate and prevent the consequences of natural disasters, as well as ensuring recovery work after disasters is carried out within the context of achieving sustainable development.

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