The mayor of Echternach, whose town was heavily hit by the floods in mid-July, was a guest on RTL Radio on Wednesday morning.

"If someone had told me that three days before, I wouldn't have believed it either," Yves Wengler, mayor of Echternach, stated in an interview on RTL Radio about the mid-July floods. The consequences of the heavy rains were very difficult to estimate at the time, Wengler explained, adding that a "very large number of factors" converged. That is why he does not want to say that the authorities failed during the floods two months ago.

However, it is now important to learn the right lessons from the disaster, according to the Echternach Mayor. For example, people should be made aware of how and when to prepare for such floods. There are maps of the flood zones and also measurements of the water level, but people need to learn how to use and interpret these resources themselves, Wengler stressed. Therefore, the municipal authorities of Echternach are thinking about sending the population a flood guide with all the necessary information.

Health crisis has boosted digitalisation

Yves Wengler is also president of SIGI, the Intercommunal IT Management Association, which supports municipalities in IT issues and questions. The coronavirus pandemic has forced municipalities to make greater use of digitalisation, Wengler explained. For example, with online municipal councils via SIGIrooms or online access to municipal data via VPN, which was then stored in a cloud in Luxembourg City, the SIGIcloud.

On the subject of digitalisation, Yves Wengler regrets, however, that some administrations still think in a "vacuum". Some ministries prefer to look for products abroad, although Luxembourg has developed its own solution, notably with SIGInova, to move forward in terms of digitalisation and connectivity. The aim would be to move from analogue to digital communication between administrations, Wengler explained.

Wengler stressed that Luxembourg has the "best infrastructure" and could definitely take part in the "Champions League of digitalisation", but this kind of "closed mindedness" prevents that.