Webinar on Sediment Related Issues for Sustainable Reservoir Management

Webinar on Sediment Related Issues for Sustainable Reservoir Management

On 23 June 2021, MJIIT together with JASTIP and IPASA organized the Webinar on Sediment Related Issues for Sustainable Reservoir Management that invited Prof. Dr. Tetsuya Sumi of DPRI, Kyoto University who is a MDRM lecturer for the River System and Management (MMJD1223) course as the keynote speaker.

Dams and reservoirs help ensure the stability of water and energy supplies and flood control. However, reservoir storage capacity, essential to meeting these purposes, has been declining as reservoirs fill with clay, silt, sand, gravel, and cobble sediment in a process known as reservoir sedimentation. Uncontrolled land use in the upstream, such as deforestation, causes landslides to occur, indirectly causing sedimentation in the reservoirs that significantly affect their lifespans. Thus, problems related to sedimentation must be solved to ensure the reservoir remains in operation through its designed lifetime.

The webinar highlighted these issues, including water quality and sedimentation issues associated with reservoir management and operation. It discussed the issues and possible solutions observed through both research and field experience in Japan, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries and shared among the stakeholders in government and academia for suggesting future steps to solve sediment issues for sustainable reservoir management.

Specific objectives were to:

  1. Share experiences from ASEAN countries including Malaysia and Japan by academic experts & local government on reservoir sedimentation management.
  2. Discuss the current issues and gaps faced with regards to reservoir sedimentation.
  3. Suggest solutions and the way forward through knowledge sharing and transfer between government entities and academic researchers.

Other speakers consisted of Prof. Dr. Sobri Harun of Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UTM Johor, Engineer Engku Ahmad Khalil Azhar Engku Mohamed of Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Malaysia, Engineer Dr. Jansen Luis Alexander of TNB Power Generation Sdn. Bhd.

The webinar was participated by 178 practitioners, researchers and students from Malaysia, Japan and ASEAN partner institutes.

The recording of the webinar can be seen on DPPC’s Facebook page or DPPC Youtube Channel

Participation to the 11th ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Week (ASTIW) 2021

Participation to the 11th ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Week (ASTIW) 2021

During 14-17 June 2021, MJIIT participated in the Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP) side event of the 11th ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Week (ASTIW) representing the group of Working Package 4 (Disaster Prevention). The objectives of this side event were as below:

  1. Highlight the importance of the science and policy dialogue and identify gaps of “from theory to practice” by reviewing JASTIP’s Phase 1 (2015-2020) outcomes to strengthen the interactions of researchers and policy-makers in the ASEAN.
  2. Shape more practical schemes in JASTIP Phase 2 (2020-2025) to sustain the multi-stakeholder platform to carry out solution-oriented joint research to societal challenges.

From MJIIT that hosts the MJIIT-Kyoto University JASTIP Disaster Prevention Joint Lab, Professor Dr. Ali Selamat, Dean of MJIIT, gave a presentation on MJIIT’s contributions through the educational and research activities to strengthen DRR for Malaysia as well as for the region since the establishment of the joint lab in 2017.

Other presenters included representatives from Kyoto University, Japan, NSTDA (Energy and Environment Joint Lab (WP2), Thailand), LIPI (Bioresources and Biodiversity Joint Lab, Indonesia), Thuy Loi University (Disaster Prevention and Risk Reduction sub-Lab, Vietnam) and Institute of Technology of Cambodia (JASTIP WP2 partner, Cambodia).

MJIIT plans to continue facilitation of collaborations among ASEAN and Japanese partners and promote joint researches, produce scientific knowledge, strengthen human and institutional capacities to support policy makers better understand and make decisions to solve complex socioeconomic issues and challenges for sustainable environmental management.

Webinar on Strengthening Local Strategies for Building Disaster Resilience

Webinar on Strengthening Local Strategies for Building Disaster Resilience

On 21 April 2021, the NADMA-JICA joint webinar on “Strengthening Capacity for Building Local Resilience” was implemented as a part of JICA’s technical cooperation project, “Enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA)” that aims to build the coordinating capacity of NaDMA to implement and achieve the goals of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and national DRR plans. The webinar was hosted and moderated by MJIIT.

Specifically, the technical cooperation project above aims to achieve the following outputs:

  1. Enhancement of NADMA’s DRM administrative capacities, including planning, budgeting and coordination
  2. Enhancement of knowledge to assess and understand multi-hazard and disaster risks, improve end-to-end early warning system (EWS), communication and information management in disasters are enhanced
  3. Strengthen understanding to effectively plan recovery and rehabilitation with “build back better” concepts
  4. Acquirement of tools and skills to support implementation of community based disaster risk management (CBDRM)

Because physical training could not be implemented at this time due to travel restrictions from the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, NADMA and JICA decided to conduct this online webinar, that focuses on (a) methodologies for strengthening local government DRR strategies, (b) policies of JICA and NADMA to support local level DRR, (c) Malaysian case study to enhance local level DRR and to (d) plan the contents for the upcoming (physical) training program.

NADMA had invited DRR-related agencies and departments from federal and local governments who are expected to join the training program. Participants from the MJIIT will also join as technical advisors.

Invited speaker from Penang State had introduced the newly adopted development policy, the Penang Green Agenda 2023, which includes a DRR component as a local case study. Survey team of the NADMA-JICA Joint Survey on Local DRR Capacity had also given a briefing on the ongoing study that is expected to identify key issues of the local government for strengthening local DRR.

JICA had also invited the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) from Kobe, Japan to conduct a quick overview on “8 Steps: Practical Methods for Developing Local DRR Strategies/Plans,” a tool used by JICA and implemented in other countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

The webinar was joined by 157 participants from various federal and local government agencies and departments, community-based organizations, researchers and post-graduate students.

The recording of the webinar can be seen on DPPC’s Facebook page

Start of NADMA-JICA Survey on DRRM Capacities of Local Governments in Malaysia

Start of NADMA-JICA Survey on DRRM Capacities of Local Governments in Malaysia

Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) is primarily the responsibility of local governments and communities. While national government and other stakeholders may provide support to plan and implement DRRM measures, it is important first to understand the DRRM capacity of the locality and the level of risks they are facing.

In this light, the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) Malaysia and JICA held a series of discussions and agreed to jointly conduct a survey of high-risk states in Malaysia on DRRM capacities of local governments in Malaysia.

This survey will also investigate how local governments, organizations and communities are coping with COVID-19 pandemic since the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020. The lesson learnt, best practices and local recommendation will be compiled and used to support NADMA and state-related agencies to formulate and national- and local DRR and resilience strategies, as required by the Global Target E, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The survey consists of four components, (1) Baseline Information, (2) Local Disaster Risk Profile (3) Needs Assessment and (4) Policy Recommendation/Intervention.

It is expected that the final report of this survey will become one of the supplementary documents of the forthcoming Malaysia National Disaster Management Plan currently being drafted by NADMA.

To implement the survey, a joint survey team has been established, consisting of NaDMA (chair), DPPC/MJIIT, JICA and a technical consultant team.

Webinar on COVID-19 and natural hazard response and prevention from Malaysia and Japan

Webinar on COVID-19 and natural hazard response and prevention from Malaysia and Japan

On 17 March 2021, the Malaysia Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Kuala Lumpur together with the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Malaysia organized a webinar entitled, “RESPONDING AND PREPARING FOR NATURAL HAZARDS UNDER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Sharing Challenges and Lessons from Malaysia and Japan.”

The webinar shared the challenges and lesson from Malaysia and Japan in responding to multiple disasters, such as floods and landslides under the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested the way forward to better reduce and prevent such compound disasters in the future.

During the monsoon/typhoon season in 2020 and beginning of 2021, both Malaysia and Japan experienced heavy flooding caused by record-breaking rainfalls that forced tens of thousands of people to be displaced across wide areas. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have additionally posed significant challenges for disaster response and called for “new norms” to be quickly established for better disaster risk reduction and management.

In this light, the webinar invited four expert speakers to offer different insights on this topic, namely, Dr. Shinji Akitomi, Emergency Physician from Medical Corporation Ioukai and Mr. Naoki Sakai, PhD, Chief Researcher, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), both from Japan and Mr. Said Alhudzari Ibrahim, General Manager, Program Operations, MERCY Malaysia and Datuk Hussein Omar Khan, Director of Operations, National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), Malaysia.

The webinar was opened by Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Vice Chancellor, UTM and Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka. The keynote speech was given by Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health. Closing was given by Mr. Masahiko Takizawa, Chief Representative, JICA Malaysia Office.

Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah in her keynote speech left the participants with five key points for better disaster management and pandemic preparedness:

  1. Importance of multi-sectoral, whole-of-society approach
  2. Balance between central and local approaches
  3. Flexible and agile arrangements for governments to respond effectively and quickly to different emergencies
  4. Effective use of data and technology for better crisis response
  5. Public trust to safeguarding people during any form of crisis

The recording of the webinar can be seen on DPPC’s Facebook page or DPPC Youtube Channel

For more information about the webinar, contact DPPC MJIIT, UTM KL at dppc@utm.my or 03-2203-1585.

Knowledge notes of this webinar can be found below

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DPPC MJIIT: Not Just Another Ordinary ‘Mission’

DPPC MJIIT: Not Just Another Ordinary ‘Mission’

The recent and current flooding occurring across Malaysia poses both economic and life-threatening challenges to the thousands of families affected. The Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center (DPPC) of Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia spearheaded a one-of-kind ‘mission’ targeted to achieve eleven unique objectives in 5-days, both in Johor and Pahang beginning on the 8th January 2021. This mission was made unique due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders from the private sectors, NGOs, a Deaf Society, ‘local champions’, and respected public agencies. Among these related parties are the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) Malaysia, Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (BOMBA), Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS), National Disaster Management Association (NADIM), I-Divers, the Malaysia Deaf Sports Association (MSDeaf) and the Pertubuhan Gabungan Bantuan Bencana NGO Malaysia (BBNGO). This mission was made possible by the strong support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and all public contributors alike.

Among the eleven aims of this mission is the performance of a rapid assessment in all the locations visited, namely Kluang – Johor Bahru – Kota Tinggi – Mersing – Pekan – Kuantan – Maran – Jerantut – Temerloh. This included studying the impacts of recent monsoons resulting in riverine floods, landslides, and high-tide disaster-related phenomena while exploring good practices, benchmarking local commitments, understanding emerging risk needs and demands, climate-induced disasters, cascading hazards and community-led disaster risk reduction in the most vulnerable states to extreme weather, environmental degradation, rapid urbanization, and anthropogenic activities. This mission additionally represents the progress made towards achieving the global G-target on the multi-hazard early warning system and details on disaster risk and people’s assessments as set by 2030, emphasising the co-design and co-development of local Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) resilience strategies to rejuvenate DRR investment, and the promotion of a public-private-academic-civil society model of five-fold helix innovation characterized by environmental disasters and systemic risk.

What makes this mission more unique is the efforts made by MSDeaf and I-Divers in the engagement with the special needs community, particularly the deaf. As many do not realise the challenges faced by these communities during and after a disaster, this mission inspires more of such engagements and the understanding of the special needs community in the future. MsDeaf provided help to disabled and underprivileged victims by seeking to recognize and investigate disabled deaf victims and to offer them assistance by providing education in sign language.The mission even succeeded in locating a few deaf adults who have never been exposed to any sign language training in their lives (they are between 29 to 50 years old), unemployed and deeply neglected in terms of communication skills.

On top of this, special sessions on basic life-saving, surface water danger detection, and CPR was also done with the communities by I-Divers, which was also telecasted live via Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (Malaysian Sign Language) by MSDeaf. Led by YBhg. Ustaz Muhamad bin Abdullah, or popularly known as Ustaz Amin, I-Divers even contributed in a few short post-traumatic healing sessions to psychologically motivate the affected victims.

In addition to achieving the mission aims, a part of this mission is to aid in a way of donations under the supervision of NADIM, cleaning and donating dry foods for the victims of the floods. Several ‘local champions’ were identified prior to the mission to assist with the more targeted assistance (to the most deeply affected families or individuals in each area or kampung). This mission hence uniquely empowers local champions to work alongside DPPC in data collection, aids distribution and special needs assessments. The mission was also made unique with the involvement of the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS) as the mission’s communications leader in guiding the entire convoy of seven 4x4s (including one with a boat). Sharing sessions were also held by MARTS to expose to the public what amateur radio is all about and how valuable their services are in times of disasters.

Within 5-adventurous days, journeying throughout Johor and Pahang, the mission delegates achieved all the eleven aims of the mission and built new networks and future collaborations. The delegates safely arrived back in MJIIT UTM KL on the late evening of the 12th January 2021.

DPPC MJIIT UTM hopes to inspire many other such collaborative efforts towards learning from each other and towards building a resilient nation.

Not-another-ordinary-mission. Accomplished.

Reported by:
Dr. Rahayu binti Tasnim
Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
rahayutasnim@utm.my