February 2, 20121031Views

Monday, January 30 – Dr. Zoran Vojinovic, an Associate
Professor of Hydroinformatics at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Water Education (IHE) in the
Netherlands is currently analysing the flood hazard areas of the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Vojinovic and Ms.
Garymar Rivera, the Senior Technical Planning Manager at the Department of
Disaster Management (DDM), will visit locations throughout the Territory and
review reports, photographs and video footage of past events. Additionally, they
will meet with District Officers and residents from areas that have experienced
flooding, to discuss key issues and gain more knowledge about past flood

Speaking about his recent
projects, Dr. Vojinovic said, “UNESCO IHE has been involved in a number of
different activities under the EU/UNDP Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i)
project. I am personally involved with the flood risk issues in St. Maarten, so
I was asked to come and look at the issues here, and propose cost-effective solutions.”

Dr. Vojinovic and his team
have done intense work in creating numerical models for coastal and flash
flooding in parts of St. Maarten and St. Martin and have proposed a number of
natural solutions to both governments.

Dr. Vojinovic is expected
to utilise available Geographic Information Systems and hazard data to prepare
maps and models that will demonstrate the extent of the possible impact of
various flood scenarios that can affect the Virgin Islands. This work will lead
to the identification of Mitigation measures to minimise the impact of future
flood events on the more vulnerable locations throughout the Territory. On
Friday, February 3, he will present a summary of his findings to a number of
key stakeholders at the DDM conference room.

Through the work of the R3i
Project, the Virgin Islands are expected to receive computer models that will
demonstrate how coastal storm surges and tsunami impacts could affect our
islands.  As a result of the Virgin
Islands’ involvement in the R3i Project, the DDM learned of the work being done
by Dr. Vojinovic and his team in St Maarten and St Martin, and are in a
position to benefit from his expertise.

The R3i Project is a 4.9Million Euro regional
initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations
Development Programme.