Madrid, Dec 14 (IANS) The looming threat of drought and floods around the globe is an issue across both urban and rural areas.
Proactive measures are being taken within parts of Africa and Asia to combat these effects which have been exacerbated by climate change, the Efe news reported.
The COP25 summit hosted its last day of conferences in Madrid on Friday.
At a side event discussing water management and flood risk prevention, some solutions for urban environments were provided by JW EcoTechnology (Ding Tai Co).
The Taiwan-based company has been developing semi-permeable pavements and roads over the last decade, implementing them in parts of Asia, Africa and the United States.
These porous surfaces contain small openings where rainwater can filter down to the soil underneath.
“In some countries where there are heavy rainfalls… we can help them avoid flooding and overflows of gutter waters. And also during the dry season when there is little or no rain, the water that has been captured can be reused,” explained Alex Chuang, Project Coordinator at Ding Tai Co.
“Against drought and flooding (the technology) it acts as a water reservoir.
“Secondly against global warming, it acts as an air conditioner, and also with air pollution and water pollution it acts as a filter.”
“It’s also able to provide an environment for vegetation and plantation where otherwise it wasn’t possible,” he added.
Rural areas, especially across Africa, can be prone to heavy flooding.
Research project CLIMAFRI aims to find answers on how to minimise the often devasting effects of flooding along the cross-border Lower Mono River Basin in Benin and Togo.
“The majority of people live in flood plains, so they are fully exposed with their houses, with their livelihoods, with their agricultural fields, to flooding, so we need to really rethink how we can adapt and reduce exposure,” said CLIMAFRI’s Yvonne Walz, a senior scientist at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security.
In the beginning stages of a three-year research project, RAIN focuses on curbing the effects of climate change in Ghana and educating local communities.
“People don’t know how to react to the floods, they don’t know how to protect themselves… this is something we need to change,” said RAIN’s Sajjad Tabatabaei, a Research Associate at the Research Institute for Water and Waste Management.