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  • Main causes of flooding in UB: Rapid urbanization, inadequate infrastructure, and the effects of climate change

    Mongolia's population has seen a migration of 20% to Ulaanbaatar in the past 30 years, resulting in increased strain on public services and the environment. In winter, air pollution reaches alarming levels in these areas due to coal burning for warmth. Unplanned Ger areas, particularly susceptible to climate change-induced flooding, are also at risk. Such floods cause contaminated water and soil, leading to health issues and water scarcity. Because of limited resources and technical capabilities, the government struggles to provide adequate services to the urban poor in these areas, leaving them vulnerable.

    Also, as a consequence of increased warm summer days and nights in Central Mongolia, where Ulaanbaatar is located, there has been more frequent flooding in Ulaanbaatar City. As indicated by the Flood Risk Assessment and Management Strategy of Ulaanbaatar City 2015 of World Bank study that looked at 35 floods that occurred within the period of 1915-2013, 60 percent of these floods took place within the decade of 2000-2010.

    The study states that 50 percent of these floods were of ‘alluvial’ type, occurring due to water flow and run-off from mountain slopes and along dry riverbeds. Besides that, Ulaanbaatar suffers from flash floods and ground water flooding. The 2003 flash floods for instance, killed 15 people, made 30 families homeless and destroyed 93 houses. The Ger areas are hit hardest by all types of floods.

    Flood issues are likely to increase in poor, unplanned areas that expand fast, mostly at the north-side of the city. As mentioned above, Ulaanbaatar is located in the Tuul valley, an arm of the Selenge River. An arm of the Tuul, the Selbe streams down from the north and ends in the Tuul at the Southside of the city. Besides the Selbe, there are many other smaller rivers that pass through the city from the north to the south. The city is surrounded by hills and many Khoroos stretch into valleys, mainly to the north, which means that these Khoroos have hills on either side.

    To address these issues, the "Flood Resilient Ulaanbaatar in Ger Area" project funded by the UN-Habitat and Adaptation Fund focused on the challenges posed by flooding in these vulnerable areas. Flooding in Ulaanbaatar's Ger areas is a recurrent issue, primarily due to rapid urbanization, inadequate infrastructure, and the effects of climate change.  The project involved a multi-stakeholder approach, bringing together government agencies, non-governmental organizations, community members, and other relevant partners to implement the specific activities and interventions they generally involve following:

    Infrastructure improvements: Constructed six flood protection facilities and 743 sanitations to mitigate the impact of flooding.

    Community engagement and capacity-building: The project raised awareness among community members about flood risks and providing training on preparedness, early warning systems, and emergency response. It aims to empower communities to actively participate in building their resilience.

    Institutional support: Efforts were made to strengthen institutional frameworks, improve governance mechanisms, and regulations that promote sustainable urban planning and disaster risk reduction in the Ger areas.

    Impact to highlight in result of project activities:

    • Reduced Flood Risks and Damages through constructing six (6) flood protection facilities. As a result, flood risk was reduced in the 6 khoroos’ territory, and enhanced over 23000 people’s safety. In detail, these infrastructures helped to people preventing from the damage and reducing the potential for loss of life and property damage caused by flooding
    • Enhanced over twenty thousand community people’s preparedness towards climate change through community engagement and capacity-building activities. By raising awareness about flood risks and providing “be ready” 10 modules training, climate change, solid waste management, and leadership trainings on preparedness, the project empowered community members to be better prepared for flood events and minimize the potential damages
    • Empowered 11897 woman which is over 50% of the project total beneficiary on climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as preparedness for disaster
    • 743 latrines have been constructed in the project locations. As a result, 5,745 people from 1,362 households have access to improved sanitation facilities. This has helped in human excreta overflowing in the surrounding environment during floods and reducing the transmission of diseases

    Other projects implemented under the World Vision Program