The creator phase of the international flood control project continued
July 12, 2016
With the professional supervision and management of the BM National Directorate General for Disaster Management National Civil Protection Chief Inspectorate a disaster management an 18 months project was launched on January 1, 2016 called EUrban Water Aid (EUWA) with a total budget of EUR 644 thousand, in order to respond as fast as possible in case of flood disaster situations. We held the second workshop of the project in Budapest between June 29 and 30.
Our partner Budapest Waterworks hosted the event, following its opening on behalf of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (DG ECHO) Per-Øyvind Semb welcomed the set objectives of the workshop. After him Péter Jackovics artillery colonel, emergency management department manager, project manager took it over, and after having greeted the experts of European Union, Serbia, Croatia and Slovakia, he held review about the professional programs of this two days. The colonel summed up the basic objectives of the project, the expected and the achieved qualitative results, and also returned to the results of the previous workshop, where international experts identified typical problems, and agreed on the importance of coordination, communication, damage, area control and the need to set up uniform principles.
One of the main goals of the EUWA project is the execution of a complex urban water treatment and flood rescue field exercise on the Tisza River under the European Civil Protection Mechanism with the assistance of the participating international disaster management bodies, waterworks, and the Hungarian Red Cross. During the exercise the deployment of the urban water purification (WP), the high capacity pumping (HCP), and the heavy urban search and rescue (USAR) modules – thus the HUNOR and the HUSZÁR rescue organizations will take place, at the same time we are also testing the operation of the host national support.
Another key objective of the project is to develop a manual to the EU-level interventions which is also useful in damage areas in the topic of urban water purification and emergency water supply. Those things described in it will be tested by national and international rescue teams and experts on the two management practices and on the practice on the Tisza River. Árpád Keresztesy project coordinator, counselor of the BM OKF outlined the aims and methods of the EUWA exercises, and the planned capacity of the Serbian, Croatian, and Slovak forces.
In addition to the above assessment activity is also part of the project, in order to that we develop a new control methodology over the course of the workshops. With its application it is possible to examine the activity of the participant of the practices and the fulfilment of the objectives set out on the workshops. About this Vida Sándorné Balogh Katalin Artillery Captain, project leader assessor spoke in detail.
While during the first workshop the parties discussed about the fundamental manners of the cooperation in case of emergency situation in a form of plenary session, now the presented the capacity of their USAR and WP modules, and they discussed the general human, logistical and technical conditions. They also placed a great emphasis on the discussion of the water, hygiene, and health related tasks in disaster hit areas.
Within its framework Péter Martonosi, expert of Budapest Waterworks shared domestic and international operational experience in water purification with the participants. Addressed the technical problems and challenges of the water supply, and the importance of the host nation’s support. He described the water treatment module’s capacity, composition, the framework of its application, and water safety standards. He emphasized that the water purification module also meets the regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The head of the Slovakian delegation, Marian Dritomsky colonel, head of the Fire-fighting Department on behalf of the Integrated Rescue and Civil Protection General Directorate announced, that given the importance of the project next year on the flood and water rescue practice in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County they will participate with three different kind rescue capacities. Pavol Inhát fire chief from Bratislava presented the high performance pump module, Katarina Domianová expert of Nitra Fire Headquarter the mobile water purification unit and the mobile water treatment container, and Pavol Dubaj introduced the water rescue capability, pointing out that recently our the Slovak partners purchased a total of 60 rescue boat nationwide. Another reason that our northern neighbor want to apply the new water treatment capacity on the planned exercise, because this would be the first time to launch it abroad.
On behalf of Serbia Aleksandra Krsmanovic presented the ability of the National Waterworks. He reminded everyone that they are waiting for the experts of the EUWA’s third workshop discussions in Belgrade and the main question will be the host nation support.
Krešimir Erik representing the Croatian Civil Protection General Directorate presented their rescue capacity to be sent to the practices, through his presentation we got an insight into the operation of the Croatian disaster management system and the capabilities of the special rescue teams. The Croatian party will participate on the practice with the “flood rescue with boats” module.
Following the plenary session, the work continued again in three workshops: in the field of management and control, operation and logistics.
László Gyenge Artillery Lieutenant-Colonel, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Civil Defense Inspector General, head of the command and control section presented the results of the discussions, which were analyzed by the SWOT analysis.
Pavol Dubaj, the head of the operations section pointed out that in the field of host nation support a distinction should be made between water purification, water rescue and urban search and rescue needs. He believed that the Hungarian-Serbian-Slovak water purification units must work together, because only the Hungarian module has a testing laboratory for water quality.
The leader of the support and logistic section, Péter Martonosi stressed that the future field exercise will provide a great opportunity for the testing of these different abilities on a cooperation level.
On the second day of the workshop our foreign partners got the chance familiarize themselves with our water treatment capacity in practice. On a real-life disaster simulation exercise Budapest Waterworks presented the operation of the entire water purification and packaging modules. Viktor Görög Security Manager, manager of the module, spoke about the operation of the module, and shared domestic and international water treatment experiences with the participants.
As a result of the workshop participating countries got the chance to get to know each other forces, capabilities, available international modules, new development and cooperation opportunities and they could find alternatives also. International experts assessed the challenges that may occur during co-application of the WP, HCP and USAR modules. In addition they laid the foundations of those new guidelines and standards which will be used in the implementation of next year's major flood exercise.