November 14, 2014
On November 13, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed two grant agreements (G/A) with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to provide grant aid of up to 3,646 million yen for two projects, the Project for Establishment of Specialized Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center and Strengthening of Weather Forecasting System and the Project for Upgrading of Mechanical System for Sewerage and Drainage Services in Gujranwala.
The projects under the grant aid agreements are described below.
1. The Project for Establishment of Specialized Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center and Strengthening of Weather Forecasting System (total amount of grant aid of up to 2,615 million yen)
This project will update the deteriorating weather radar system and establish a Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center with weather forecasting analysis and communication equipment in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, aiming at improving meteorological observations and the weather forecasting and warning system in the country.
Pakistan has a high frequency of floods, landslides, cyclones, earthquakes and other disasters, and has been particularly impacted by global climate change such as the large-scale flooding that has occurred each year since 2010. In a nation-wide effort, the Government of Pakistan has been implementing a number of initiatives, including the establishment of a National Disaster Management Authority that is the core of disaster management and the establishment of a National Disaster Management Plan in 2013 with JICA’s assistance.
An architect’s rendition of the completed Islamabad weather radar tower
This project will update the degraded weather radar system in Islamabad, and support the installation of wind profiler systems that monitor the wind direction and speed in the upper level of the sky. The Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center located at the head office will be provided with equipment for weather information analysis, which will not only improve the accuracy of short-range weather forecasts (24 to 48 hours ahead) but also enable medium-range (72-hour and longer) weather predictions. Technical guidance for the equipment will be provided as well. In addition, meteorological information communication equipment will be installed in five branch centers of the Pakistan Meteorological Department around the country, allowing the branch centers to exchange meteorological data with the head office and receive forecasts and disaster warnings from the Medium Range Weather Forecasting Center.
It is expected that as a result of implementing this project, meteorological observation data will be transmitted to meteorological agencies around the world, improving the precision of global numerical weather prediction models,* including weather modeling for Japan. In addition to this infrastructure project, JICA is developing an Indus River flood prediction system in partnership with UNESCO, and launching a technical cooperation project to train human resources involved in disaster management to support comprehensive improvement in early flood warning and disaster risk management.
* A global numerical weather prediction model uses mathematical modeling to predict weather. Covering the entire world, a global numerical weather prediction model predicts weather phenomena with a width of at least 100 kilometers, such as high- and low-pressure systems, typhoons and rain fronts.
2. The Project for Upgrading of Mechanical System for Sewerage and Drainage Services in Gujranwala (total amount of grant aid of up to 1,031 million yen)
This project will update the equipment for maintaining and operating the sewage and drain water pipes in Gujranwala, Punjab Province, to strengthen the sewage and water drainage capacity of the city, thereby mitigating flood damage.
Gujranwala, the project target area, is located about 70 kilometers to the north of Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province, and is the fourth largest city in the province. In terms of the economy, Gujranwala is one of the most industrialized cities in the province, following Lahore and Faisalabad, and functions as a key logistics hub for agricultural products within the province. Due to a rapid influx of people, however, there is a need to rebuild the socioeconomic infrastructure, and in particular, the sewage and drainage system. That system has lost drain capacity due to the buildup of sand, waste and mud in the pipes and degradation of water pump equipment, causing damage from reflooding during heavy rains.
This project will update the equipment required to maintain and operate the sewer and drainage pipes, including high-pressure cleaning trucks, sludge suction trucks and a clamshell excavator, increase the amount of mud that can be cleared from the sewer pipes and drainage pipes, and by extension, is expected to reduce the surface water on city roads during the rainy season from the current range of eight to 48 hours to under 24 hours.