Flood protection with mobile dams

Project completed

Upper Tisza River Region is frequently and heavily flooded and has sudden torrents and rainfalls. In a pilot project, the National Directorate General of Disaster Management will purchase and test a mobile dike system that can serve as a rapid response, cost efficient and environmental friendly device. As this system is under certain conditions faster available than conventional flood protection with sandbags, precious time can be gained to protect the inhabitants, property and goods.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Enhanced security and safety
Managing natural disasters and emergency situations
01.10.2012 - 31.12.2016
CHF  3’007’097

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background The Upper Tisza Region is regularly hit by floods. Flood prevention measures are complemented by natural disasters response actions to contain floodwaters temporarily within a river's embankment and/or providing temporary protection for objects in floodplains. Conventionally sandbags are used, that are kept in storage rooms of municipalities potentially affected by flooding or at the disaster management units. Sandbags are cheap to purchase, however, it takes a lot of time and manpower to fill the sandbags and after usage they have to be disposed of.


The goal is to reduce the vulnerability of North-East Hungary in case of extreme weather conditions. For this purpose, new rapid flood response actions reduce the time necessary to protect inhabitants and property as well as material goods.

Target groups

180’000 inhabitants in Northern Hungary, especially along the Upper Tisza River Region and its catchment area in the north Great Plains


The Executing Agency will purchase, install and use a mobile dam system. This purchase of equipment will be accompanied by trainings for the local civil defense units and the staff of the regional disaster management directorates. The project is conceived as a pilot – if the system proves to be successful, additional purchase of mobile dikes is planned.


Achieved results:  

  • Mobile dams with a total length of 12.5 km are available at two locations
  • 1500 people were trained in the use of mobile dams filled with water
  • Can also be used with poor transport infrastructure, as it is easy to transport
  • The environmentally friendly system serves as an effective alternative to sandbags - thanks to time savings improved protection of the population in north-eastern Hungary with about 180'000 inhabitants

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’007’097 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’913’381
Project phases

Phase 1 01.10.2012 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)