FIN hosted an online and offline event on 22nd March 2023 on urban flooding in collaboration with the United Nations University UNU-MERIT. It was a hybrid event, open online via Zoom and offline at UNU-MERIT. Our FIN director, Shyama V. Ramani, also Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT played a key role, along with our Senior Advisor Dr. Raja Venkataramani. The event was conducted most efficiently by the FIN organization team comprising Abhishek, Akshita, Nikhil, Joella, Pranav, and Natalie. Our speakers were brilliant! In addition to outlining the factors causing urban flooding in different parts of the world, each of them presented solutions to the problems.
First, Prof. Dr. Jo Ritzen gave a presentation on the role of policies in Dutch history, starting with the Dutch Delta policy to be complemented by a “save water where it falls” European Policy, starting with the Rhine-Meuse Euregion. Next, Mr. Muhammad Taher explained how Bangladesh has built resilience and coping capabilities, driving home the message that urban flooding is a human-induced phenomenon, and so the focus needs to be on people and their interaction with nature. Then, Ms. Archana Jayaraman led us to understand the work of the German KfW Development Bank in India, especially their project in the city of Chennai on integrated stormwater management.
Thereafter, Mr. Patrick van der Broeck’s gave the audience a panoramic view of the history of infrastructural innovations and their governance in the Netherlands to build resilience capabilities in a very visual presentation. Our last speaker, Mr. Malik Mino Ereira, spoke about how Accra can build resilience to flooding through better urban planning, better maintenance of existing infrastructures, public education, reduction of solid waste, and rural development to minimize rural-to-urban migration.
According to audience feedback, the discussion format was very informative. A member of our audience even posed a brilliant question that gave us a new perspective. As a result, we had an insightful world water day session!
That’s not all, there’s more! At FIN, we try to organize such insightful events, one of which will be World Toilet Day 2023 on November 19! If you are interested in joining, please send us your e-mail, and we will inform you in October.