17 Bono Sirens Installed on the Banks of the Cauca River
The largest energy generation project in Colombia is being built to obtain energy from the flow of the Cauca River. It will generate 2,400 MW of energy using eight generating units (Francis turbines).
The project contains schemes and activities that need to be planned and carried out to prevent, mitigate, control, and compensate the impacts of its construction and operation. The plan includes the implementation of an early warning system, also known as a SAT in Spanish-speaking countries. The system is designed to warn the communities along the river against emergency by signalling the dangerous water levels of the river (“orange and red warnings”) in the event of a considerable increase in the river flow volume or any other contingency that might endanger human lives.
The warning system already in place for the residents of the zone concerned consists of seventeen Bono sirens that the local partner installed strategically along the 14-kilometre river bank. They give direct warning and information to approximately 2,000 people living in the area. Each siren is designed and built to comply with the highest quality standards. It can produce three types of warning alerts in an emergency situation, communicate the level of specific danger on the river, and provide specific instructions to the population so that they can take the appropriate action and prepare for evacuation immediately. The sirens can also be activated manually by the local authority representatives. From the technological point of view, the devices are equipped with backup batteries, which ensure their full operability even if a power failure occurs unexpectedly. They are made of durable stainless steel and mounted on stainless steel poles.
Apart from the infrastructure project, the hydroelectric plant is an initiative that helps the regional development of the twelve municipalities within the region, and, together with its mitigation and risk control plans, it is a safe way to bring development and prosperity to the region.