ISLAMABAD: Climate Change Minister Zahid Hamid on Thursday informed the National Assembly that the federal government has earmarked Rs177 billion to tackle floods and it was banking on the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to approve the sum.
The government has set aside the sum for the ‘National Floods Protection Programme’ and it will be put into operation after the CCI approves the allocated amount in its next meeting.
While answering a question regarding steps taken by the government to control floods in the future, the minister said that the Federal Flood Commission after a long consultation has envisaged a 10-year flood protection programme focusing on integrated structural and non-structural measures in consultation with federating units to deal with floods.
While sharing break-up of the allocations, he said that about Rs20.22 billion has been allocated for non-structural measures that include better management of water from dams, flood forecasting, early warning systems and disaster management. He said that Rs156 billion has been earmarked for structural measures that include flood protection works.
The flood protection plan has been prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Water and Power and presented for CCI on March 25 and pending for final approval since then, the minister said.
He said that the government has approved the National Climate Change Policy which has identified mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“There is a dire need of a flood protection plan as the country is facing frequent floods due to climate change and global warming and adaptation measures as emphasised in national climate change policy are crucial in this regard,” UN-World Meteorological Organisation Senior Adviser Dr Qamar Zaman told The Express Tribune. He said that a lot of work has been carried out on the flood protection plan and if the government was serious to implement the plan it will be a positive development.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2016.