The Brunei Darussalam Flash Flood Guidance System (BFFGS) by the Meteorological Department aims to strengthen the flash flood occurrence warning capacity that is more effective, detailed and precise. The initiative – hoped to reduce the dangers of exposure to flash floods, has gained cooperation from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Hydrologic Research Centre (HRC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) headquartered in California, United States of America. Speaking at the World Meteorological Day 2019 celebration yesterday morning, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications said the initiative takes into account the impact of climate change that can cause flash floods.

Yang Berhormat said that the system’s implementation involves survey and hydrology data shared by the Public Works Department and the Survey Department. It will also provide opportunity for capacity building for the Meteorological Department and Public Works Department officers, to fulfil up skilling requirements or enhancement of existing skills. It is hoped that such service enhancement will assist various parties in conducting their respective operations and at the same time is also hoped to facilitate the public in making better decisions for any planned activities.

Touching on the steps towards bringing the country to a Smart Nation status and in facing the 4th Industrial revolution, Yang Berhormat stressed that the use of effective technology is a high requirement in obtaining data or information that fits the consumers’ requirements. Yang berhormat has seen that the Meteorological Department can play a vital role as meteorology is among the appropriate fields in taking advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution technological development such as the Internet of Things (IOT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In taking advantage of the latest technology, Yang Berhormat also stressed on the importance of a more meaningful date usage. An example of this is road safety. Yang berhormat referred to statistics from the Brunei Insurance and Takaful Association, BITA, that throughout January 2018 to February 2019, some 18 percent of motor vehicle accident claims are linked to driver negligence during rainy conditions. With the data improvement that can be gathered by the IoT, the presentation and dissemination of information as well as weather warnings that are more precise and effective, especially on rainy weather conditions, will contribute to road safety. In order to achieve this efficacy, close cooperation between the Meteorological Department and stakeholders such as the National Road Safety Council, insurance companies and driving schools is vital. This is one of the examples of the joint initiative among various parties through the Whole of Nation Approach. In ensuring the use of weather information that is in line with consumer requirements, it is hoped that the Meteorological Department’s initiative will continue to strengthen cooperation between various parties, either partners at the national or even international level.

The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every 23rd of March to commemorate the enforcement of the World Meteorological Organisation’s convention on the 23rd of March 1950. It is also celebrated in appreciation of the vital contributions given by the National Meteorological and Hydrology Service for the safety and well-being of the global community.

The function ran concurrently with the presentation of certificates to participants of the Brunei Darussalam Flash Flood Guidance System course. Also present were members of the Legislative Council, Pengiran Mohd Amirrizal Bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Transport, Research and Development at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications; Awang Haji Hairul Mohd Daud Bin Haji Abdul Karim and Pengiran Haji Mohd Zain bin Pengiran Haji Abd Razak, Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications as well as Awang Muhamad Husaini bin Aji, Acting Director of Meteorological.

Also held were exhibitions showcasing educational information related to the BFFGS and information on other meteorological services such as the colour coded severe weather warnings. Throughout 2018, two hundred and ninety colour coded severe weather warnings were issued by the weather forecast centre for heavy rains and strong winds. This an improvement by 4 times in comparison to 2016. Apart from, more than 3 hundred and 60 thousand public weather forecast and 23 thousand aviation weather forecast were also issued in a year. The Weather Danger Index System, WHIS as a tool to prepare in tackling extreme weather conditions and products related to weather were also showcased. The exhibition was participated by several government agencies, University Brunei Darussalam, University Technology Brunei and the private sector. This year’s celebration themed, ‘Sun, Earth and Weather’ stressed on the importance of the Sun which is the centre of the solar system and also the driver for the weather, climate, tides and hydrology cycle.

Source: Radio Television Brunei