Backgrounder: Canada helps protect communities along the Fraser River from flooding
Climate change is affecting Canadian communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Natural hazards and extreme weather – like floods, wild fires and storms – are increasing in frequency and intensity. For many communities, these hazards are significantly affecting critical infrastructure and can result in health and safety risks, interruptions in essential community services and increasingly high costs of recovery and replacement.
The Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a 10-year, $2 billion national program designed to help communities better withstand current and future risks of natural hazards.
The federal government is investing $45 million from DMAF in a project to mitigate the effects of flooding from the Fraser River in Skwah First Nation, Shxwhá:y Village and the City of Chilliwack in British Columbia.
This project will improve the existing flood mitigation infrastructure by adding approximately 6 kilometers of new dikes, a new flood gate structure crossing the Hope Slough, and a drainage pump station. After its completion in 2025, the communities will have greater protection from floods.
As a result, Skwah First Nation has indicated that approximately 73,500 residents will be better protected against floods, which are expected to occur once every 10 to 30 years, once this project is completed.
Furthermore, Skwah First Nation estimates that these infrastructure improvements will reduce by 95% the number of families and businesses who go without essential services in the event of a disaster.
In addition, the project will significantly reduce impact and losses for the local economy, as well as saving on long-term recovery and replacement costs for the infrastructure.
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