Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and a2i, at the initiative of the Ministry of Water Resources and with the help of Google, have developed an advanced flood forecasting and warning system to deliver flood forecast and warning messages on android phones.
Three days to three hours before the onset of the flood, forecast and warning messages are being sent to the phones of the local people through the internet.
This digital flood forecasting and warning system will be launched today. State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk will be present as the chief guest at the inaugural function organized by the ministry at Pani Bhaban on Green Road in the capital.
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem will present as special guests.
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources Kabir Bin Anwar will preside over the function.
Regarding the forecasting process, Mohammad Lutfar Rahman, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources said, “Every day, flood monitoring data is collected from 109 stations across the country and sent to Google through a2i. Google is using Forecasting Model to send forecasts to internet-connected smartphone users in flood-prone areas through push notifications, three days to three hours earlier. Even if an outsider visits a risky area, Google will detect his location and send a notification.”
According to ministry sources, work is underway to incorporate the issues of floodwaters entering the locality through overflowing of flood control dams and floods due to tidal waves in the coastal areas, in the future.
At the same time, the ministry wants to increase the forecast time and send the forecast 7-10 days earlier. Using this technology, last year, 10 lakh notifications were sent to 3 lakh people in flood-prone areas through Android phones.
Mohammad Lutfar Rahman further said, “The issue of sending notifications via text message to any mobile in the future is underway. We have asked for a list of 99 flood-prone upazilas of the country with mobile numbers of 100 people from different walks of life so that the affected areas can be informed by sending forecast messages in groups and the damages can be reduced.”