What is CBFEWS?

UNEP (2012) defines early warning as “the provision of timely and effective information, through identified institutions, that allows individuals exposed to hazard to take action to avoid or reduce their risk and prepare for effective response”. Early warning is defined by UNISDR as “the set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organizations threatened by hazards to take necessary preparedness measures and act appropriately in sufficient time to reduce possibility of harms or losses” (ISDR 2006).

Community based flood early warning system (CBFEWS) is an integrated system of tools and plans managed by and for communities, providing real-time flood warnings to reduce flood risks. CBFEWS is based on people-centered, timely, simple and low-cost technology. It disseminates information to the vulnerable communities downstream through a network of communities and government bodies. A properly designed and implemented system can save lives and reduce property loss by increasing the lead time to prepare and respond to flood on ground level.