Mekong River Commission

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Flood Management and Mitigation

The Flood Management and Mitigation Programme is a rolling programme that commenced operation in January 2005 and is funded to the total value of around US$20 million.

At the heart of the programme is a Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Centre, which provides technical and coordination services to the four countries in the Lower Mekong Basin. Forecasts, flood data, technical standards and training packages are key outputs of the programme.

The programme has five components:

1. Establishment of a Regional Flood Centre
2. Structural Measures and Flood Proofing
3. Mediation of Transboundary Flood Issues
4. Flood Emergency Management Strengthening
5. Land Management

1. Establishment of a Regional Flood Centre

A Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Centre, based in Phnom Penh, maintains the availability of flood-related tools, data and knowledge at national and regional levels; produce accurate regional flood forecasts with timely and effective dissemination; and provides accurate and consistent tools for basinwide flood risk assessment and transboundary impact analysis.

The Annual Flood Forum is one of the main activities of the Centre and serves as the key platform for coordination of responses concerning flooding on a regional basis. The forums commenced in 2002 and now attract more than 100 national, regional and international experts who come to share their knowledge and experiences.

Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Center
P.O. Box 623
576 National Road # 2, Sangkat Chak Angre Krom,
Khan Menachey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel. (855-23) 425353, (855-92) 666991
Fax (855-23) 425363

This component is supported by Government of Japan, the Government of the Netherlands, and the United States Agency for International Development Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID-OFDA) and the Government of Denmark.

2. Structural Measures and Flood Proofing

This component studies the effect infrastructures, such as reservoirs, embankments and waterways, have on flooding in order to provide guidelines and technical standards to encourage the adoption of good practices. An implementation plan will be developed using a holistic approach giving attention to transboundary issues. Flood-proofing measures will be developed and promoted in flood-prone areas as a cost effective means of flood mitigation at local level. There will be emphasis on working in poor communities when considering building design guidelines, financing mechanisms and conducting awareness-raising.

This component is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of the Netherlands.


3. Mediation of Transboundary Flood Issues

A Mediation and Coordination Section will be established to facilitate dialogue and resolution of issues on land management and land use planning, infrastructure development and cross-border emergency management of floods.

Formalised procedures, norms and rules for mediation and decision-making regarding non-compliance in transboundary flood management issues will be developed as will recommendations on water and land use legislation.

This component is supported by the Government of the Netherlands. More details on component 3.(pdf582KB)

4. Flood Emergency Management Strengthening

The component will ensure the improvement of existing Emergency Management Systems in riparian countries to deal with the Mekong Floods more effectively, through capacity building, knowledge sharing and public awareness campaigns at the provincial, district and community levels. More details on component 4.(pdf 206KB)

This component is supported by the Government of Germany and the European Union through the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), and works in partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC).


5. Land Management

The component will address the pressing issues of flood probability assessment techniques, improved land use planning methods and damage-reducing land management policies in order to achieve sustainable natural resource management in the Basin. This component is supported by the Government of Germany.


The FMMP's work includes:

Flood Forecasting and Warning

The MRC currently issues daily flood forecasts and warnings during the June-November flood season taking its data from 23 forecast points on the Mekong River system. It disseminates these bulletins daily by fax, e-mail, or via the MRC web page ( to National Mekong Committees, selected organisations, and the public.

Flood Forecasting Transmitted to Vulnerable Communities

In 2002, the MRC and the United States Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID-OFDA) signed a cooperative agreement to implement a project entitled “Provision of Flood Early Warning to Flood-Vulnerable Communities in the Lower Mekong River Basin, Phase I: Cambodia and Lao PDR.”.

The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of communities in Cambodia and Lao PDR to higher-than-normal floods and flash flooding by providing timely flood warnings to the population in flood-vulnerable communities. The provision of services includes the installation of flood marks and community billboards, community flood forecasts and maps, radio communication, guidebooks, and training. The services are delivered through MRC partners, including the American (ARC) and Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in Cambodia. The project was launched in the Lao PDR in early 2005 and similar activities will be carried out in flood-vulnerable communities through relevant agencies and partners.

The Annual Mekong Flood Forum

Since 2002, the Mekong Flood Forum has become an annual event conducted by the Mekong River Commission. The Forum provides an opportunity for managers, planners, practitioners and scientists from riparian states, international organisations, and civil society organisations to meet and exchange experiences and information addressing flood issues and to identify ways to improve flood management using a balanced regional and holistic approach.

Proceedings of the Annual Flood Forums can be downloaded from our Free download section on this web site.



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