UCC, ITU Hand Over Shs 1b Flood-Warning System to Gov’t

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has Thursday handed over the management of the $300, dosage pharmacy 000, purchase try about Shs 1 billion Flood early warning system(EWS) in Butaleja District to the Office of the Prime Minister.

The outdoor unit of flood EWS at Namulo Primary School

The outdoor unit of flood EWS at Namulo Primary School

According to the Communications Commission, the ownership of the  same system will be transferred to Butaleja District Local Government.

For many years, the district has been ravaged by the persistent floods given its location in basin area and thereby receiving a lot off runoff water from the Wanale hills, Bududa hills, and the imposing Mt Elgon.

Because of the raised topography, the area receives a lot of relief rainfall. However, the flooding and high rainfall supports the extensive rice growing in the area.

Dubbed Endabusi (“the one that warns” in the Lunyole dialect), the system is located at Namulo Bridge on River Manafwa in Himuntu sub-county, Butaleja District.

Flood sensors installed at Masulula Bridge

Flood sensors installed at Masulula Bridge

It is a joint venture between the Government of Uganda and ITU, and is in line with Uganda’s Disaster Preparedness Policy.

Nationally, the project is being implemented by Butaleja District and the Ministries of Disaster Preparedness (Office of the Prime Minister), UCC (Information and Communications Technology – MoICT), and Water and Environment, with technical support from the International Telecommunications Union.

The project was commissioned by the Minister for ICT, Hon. John Nasasira, at a function held at Butaleja District headquarters on September 22, 2014.

Present at the function were Mrs Gisa Fuatai Purcell, the Head of ITU’s Division of Least Developed Countries Landlocked Countries and Small Island developing states, Emergency Telecommunications, and Climate Change.

In her brief remarks, Mrs Purcel expressed ITU’s commitment to saving people’s lives.

“The EWS project has improved the dissemination of early-warning information in the flood- prone areas of Butaleja district.

Set Up of the Flood Early Warning System

The surveillance system consists of five major components. It has two sensors placed in the river; a solar-powered siren adjacent to the river, and two yagi antennae; six amplifiers; two solar panels, and; two batteries.

According to UCC, the Command Control Centre consists of Computer Unit connected to push button controls, a radio unit, a battery and a PA system.

“The computer unit has proprietary software that facilitates monitoring of the system’s activities. The computers are a backup for monitoring the performance of the siren system,” the commission revealed.

The radio unit is connected to a yagi antenna placed at the top of a building or support structure to provide line-of-sight to the yagi antenna that is installed at the site where the outdoor components are installed. The PA system is used to communicate disaster warning information and non-related disaster warning information that will benefit the community.

 Set Up of the Flood Early Warning System

ITU has described the system as one that uses a siren notification system to warn people about raising water levels.

A cabinet containing power amplifiers, siren signal tone generators, control unit and batteries is placed at the lower end of the pole. The control unit is then linked by a coaxial cable to two flood sensors that are installed at a suitable point along a river that has flood tendencies.

The first flood sensor is placed at a height where there is potential for flooding over the area and the second flood sensor is placed at a height where complete flooding of the area is seen to occur.

The outdoor components are then linked to the control command centre by VHF radio frequency.

The locations of the control command centre are at Butaleja District Headquarters Himutu Sub-county

One year down the road, the system has proved to be a reliable solution to ending not only the floods, but also minimise the endemic loss of life and property.

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