ISLAMABAD .: Pakistan is still struggling to take necessary measures for upgrading its early warning system to share information well beforehand for avoiding major human and economic loss in the wake of natural calamities.
According to officials in the federal government, the country lacks the financial resources and strong will for procuring the required equipment for upgrading the early warning system.
“The government is highly depending and looking forward to getting funding from international donor organisations/agencies for upgrading its early warning system which has become the dire need of the hour,” said an official in the federal government requesting anonymity.
He told The Express Tribune that the Turkish government has in principle agreed to install 18 telemetry stations over major rivers for gathering the real time data about flood situation and to know the actual situation of water flows.
These 18 telemetry systems will also benefit the remote sites of the country where Pakistan is still unable to monitor and measure the water flows in the rivers and will also cover an important feature of the National Flood Protection Plan-IV (NFPP-IV).
“At present Pakistan is facing shortage of telemetry stations and the stations already installed are dysfunctional since ages, causing major hurdles for the departments concerned in making flood forecasting beforehand,” he added.
The official said that this issue had been raised several times at various levels but still could not push the previous government to bring it on priority. “Pakistan has been unable to purchase the required number of telemetry stations due to limited financial resources therefore the Turkish government has been kind enough to fulfil the need,” he added.
He said that in January this year, a team of experts visited Pakistan and had several meetings with the high officials of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
He said that during the meeting, Pakistan conveyed the Turkish team about the dysfunctional telemetric stations and challenges the country is facing in replacing them for upgrading its early warning and flood forecasting system. He added that the team of Turkish experts has in principle agreed and the installation work will be carried out in phases. In the first stage, 12 telemetry stations will be installed and later the remaining ones.