The report, titled “Cities and Flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for the 21st Century,” praised the Andean nation for its focus on quick emergency response and constructing disaster-proof buildings.
The country’s risk assessment plan, a system that identifies Colombian areas susceptible to flooding, was called one of the best in the world by the report’s author Abhas K. Jha.
Globally, Jha said the major concern facing countries was the proper integration of national and local agencies working to minimize the risk of flooding.
“For me the most important recommendations are to remember that it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of flooding and to provide ongoing communication to raise awareness of the need to be prepared for floods,” Jha told newspaper El Espectador.
The World Bank report comes after a more negative assessment of Colombia’s disaster preparedness was released in March by the humanitarian group, Refugees International.
While remarking on recent improvements in emergency management, Alice Thomas, the report’s author still feels Colombia faces a big challenge “implementing humanitarian relief at the local level.”
Regional Colombian governments have been criticized several times in recent months for failing to prepare adequately for the current rainy season, following particularly harsh rains in 2011.
More than 100 people died and an estimated 440,000 homes were destroyed by floods and landslides last year.