Advanced monitoring – key for safety

Nov 26, 2015

On 25 November 2015, Mr Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, jointly with Mr. Carlos Afonso, Head of the Regional Office for Central Asia and Eastern countries (DG-ECHO), held a meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the progress of preparation activities for launching the most advanced system for monitoring of natural hazards on the “Kamchik” mountain bypass.

“Kamchik” mountain bypass is a strategically important location for the Uzbekistan’s economy ensuring the major part of transport and passenger connection from the capital to three densely populated regions of the Ferghana Valley – Namagan, Andijan and Ferghana regions. About 10 to 15 thousand vehicles drive on a daily basis along the bypass’s main highway. Taking into account the significance of the location, a special attention is given to the transportation safety issues in this area. A separate search-and-rescue flight of the Ministry of Emergency Situations is based here. Representatives of different services perform day and night surveillance from the specially equipped watch posts that, in its turn, helps to get the full picture of the protected area. Yet, the specific character of the bypass’s geographic location assuming high likelihood of landslides, rock-falls and avalanches also requires permanent upgrade and technical re-equipment of the watch posts to increase traffic safety.

UNDP in Uzbekistan with a financial support of the ECHO’s disaster preparedness programme DIPECHO VIII proposed an innovative approach to improve the system for monitoring and control of natural hazards. Goals and objectives of the new project “Disaster risk management on the Kamchik mountain bypass” include solution of technical upgrade issues and assistance in raising population awareness on fundamental safety rules and behavior in the event of emergency.

360-degree, all-weather view – capacities of the latest-generation video cameras supplied during implementation of joint initiatives will make possible to perform surveillance both at minus 60 °C cold and at up to plus 70 °C. It should be noted that securely fixed devices do not have any moving parts that considerably affects the longevity of cameras, which also include night vision mode.

Another important feature is instant communication. Videoconferencing systems installed within the scope of the project enable, in the online mode, to display picture on screens and broadcast to the Centre for management of emergencies under the MES in Tashkent. Moreover, this substantially saves time when prompt decision-making is required, and helps to provide timely support during emergencies.

Information accessibility is essential too. Today, mobile phone users can experience all benefits of the “MES” («МЧС») mobile application, which contains detailed guidelines on Dos and Don’ts during emergencies. New SOS button enables locating the place of emergency and send rescuers to give first aid. In addition, all-inclusive activities to improve public preparedness of the population living in the close proximity to the bypass (Tashkent and Namangan provinces) are carried out on a regular basis.

Key objective of the joint project is to provide help to vulnerable populations, which live in regions and are exposed to natural disasters, as well as to reduce disaster risk impacts on human lives.

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