Rwanda: Building Resilience to Flood Hazards in Northwest Rwanda through Improved National and Local Capacity

Context and Objectives 
This project aims to develop an operational flood early warning system for the Sebeya River Basin in North-West Rwanda, an area which has witnessed deadly floods. This system will be embedded in a new national early warning platform, which can be extended to provide early warnings of hydro-meteorological hazards across the country by adding further components and models. Once operational, the system will provide warnings through a new smart-phone app and other communication channels.
The project outputs inform the development and investment planning for the Government of Rwanda, the World Bank, and other development partners. Specifically, it informs the World Bank's Landscape Approach to Forest Reforestation and Conservation (LAFREC) project, which promotes flood risk reduction as essential for land restoration activities.

Main Activities

  • Preparing technical studies and analytical work, particularly hydrological modelling and flood-risk mapping for selected watersheds in the targeted landscape. The models and flood risk maps produced are helping to identify disaster-prone communities and sectors.
  • Supporting improvements of national and local development plans in disaster prone areas, by identifying high-risk activities and appropriate disaster risk reduction interventions.
  • Developing actionable hydro-meteorological forecasting and an effective early warning system for at-risk communities in Northwest Rwanda.
  • Providing expertise for the training agencies and communities both at the national and at the local level. 

To date, an inception report has been produced and an assessment of available data sources was finalized. 
Work is ongoing on the development of flood hazard maps. In addition, a first non-operational version of a national early warning system platform was installed, which connects with real-time hydrological data from the Hydrometeorological network. The flood early warning system for the Sebeya River Basin is expected to become operational in the summer of 2019. 

Partnerships and Coordination
The project has been discussed with the EU Delegation in Kigali. 

  • Africa
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $450,000
  • 10/2017 - 07/2020