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Bas Stengs, new RCC for Asia, introduces himself

Recently, I’ve become the Delft-FEWS Regional Content Coordinator (RCC) of Asia, so allow me to briefly introduce myself.

My name is Bas Stengs and I’m currently stationed in Vietnam (since July 2018) as a Delft-FEWS specialist. Here we work on different projects, mainly related to flood early warning, salinity intrusion and nearshore/offshore wind.

Currently I’m busy defining and elaborating a strategy to train our local business partner (CEFD) for becoming the local Delft-FEWS expert of the ASEAN region, such that they take care of Delft-FEWS installations, trainings, (rehearsal) courses and O&M as a Delft-FEWS support officer. This will likely create a more active Delft-FEWS user community in Vietnam (avoiding obstacles like language barriers and rapid response), but also for the complete ASEAN region (avoiding time zone differences as a support officer and the capability for providing financially attractive Delft-FEWS training/rehearsal courses when needed).

CEFD (Centre for Environmental Fluid Dynamics) has been working with Delft-FEWS already for some years now, where they’ve developed their own flood early warning system for the Red-River of Hanoi. This was a very nice occasion for them to grow in their role of becoming our local Delft-FEWS expert. I’ve managed to train them even further in this through a series of pizza courses, self-studies and guided them on the deployment of a full client-server system on their own HPC. Which makes them currently ready to provide the Delft-FEWS Basic configuration courses fully in Vietnamese or English, deploying and installing Delft-FEWS client-server systems and providing 1st line of Delft-FEWS support in the entire region of South-East Asia and beyond, with little to no (remote) support of Deltares.

Recently we (our local Delft-FEWS experts and me) deployed an operational Delft-FEWS system in the Mekong. Both the installation and training was a great success with many enthusiastic participants (50+)! During the entire week, I could only communicate (in English) with my two colleagues of CEFD and Mrs. Trang (our local Deltares employ), because at Vietnamese governmental agencies they are not familiar with speaking English. With all the training material being translated to Vietnamese, our local Delft-FEWS experts were fully able to take care of the entire training themselves.

With this Delft-FEWS training, two provinces are now ready to use their salinity monitoring and forecasting system to improve water management for agricultural use. With the rising sea level due to Climate Change and a delta which is rapidly sinking, the Mekong Delta suffers from salinization. With this Delft-FEWS training given by our local Delft-FEWS experts, we hope people in the Mekong are better prepared for our dynamic and every changing environment!