|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Tackling the threat of flooding
A new forum to support individuals to protect themselves against flooding was launched yesterday.
The Scottish Flood Forum - funded by the Government, set up by the National Flood Forum and supported by SEPA - will raise awareness of flood warnings and self-help measures, while providing an independent voice for flood victims.
Launching the forum in Broxburn, West Lothian which was hit by flash flooding due to heavy rain this summer, Environment Minister Michael Russell said:
"The new Scottish Flood Forum aims to give people practical advice which we can all heed to help protect ourselves against flooding, by raising awareness of flood warnings and self-help measures.
"It is increasingly important to raise awareness of flooding in this way, following one of the wettest summers on record, and the risk is only likely to increase with climate change in years to come.
"Flooding is highly distressing for its victims and the forum will also play an important role in providing an independent voice for those affected by flooding or at high risk from its devasating impact.
"By investing £180,000 in this forum, we aim to provide the means to help people identify and reduce flood risk wherever possible to protect our environment, our people and our economy."
Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum Mary Dhonau, who has also been a victim of flooding, said:
"It has always been our ambition to open a branch in Scotland and to give the much needed and necessary support to people at risk of flooding in Scotland. We are delighted that Scottish Government has recognised the valuable work we do and is supporting us financially to enable us to work with and support both the victims and those at risk of flooding in Scotland."
SEPA Flood Unit Manager, David Faichney added:
"SEPA welcomes the introduction of the National Flood Forum to Scotland and we look forward to working with them to help support Scotland's flood risk communities."
The National Flood Forum was set up in England and Wales in 2002, following the floods of 2000. The forum provides support and advice to communities and individuals who have been flooded or are at risk of being flooded. It is run by people who have had first hand experience of the trauma, loss and frustration of being flooded or have first hand experience of supporting the victims of flooding, both during and after the event.
The establishment of the National Flood Forum in Scotland follows a recommendation from the Flooding Issues Advisory Committee in 2007. Supported by SEPA, the Scottish Flood Forum will help establish a network of community-based groups in areas at high risk of flooding.
Scottish Government has agreed funding over the next three years:
- 2008-09 - £23,500 (six months) plus £7,000 start up costs for SEPA 2009-10 - £50,000
- 2010-11 - £70,000
- 2011-12 - £36,000 (six months)
The forum will also promote a more sustainable approach to flood risk management through awareness, avoidance, alleviation and assistance. A commitment to sustainable flood risk management is a key element of the new Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament. The Bill was introduced in September.