Ruling out any chances of a repeat of the last year, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) official on Monday said that even though more monsoon rains are being forecast, there was no danger of flooding.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a two-day seminar on disaster preparedness held at a local hotel on Tuesday, PMD Director Khalid Malik said the rains however were expected to be five to 15 per cent more than the normal.
The event titled “Disaster-risk Reduction and Emergency Response” was organised by Helping Hand for Relief and Development.
Malik added that after the monsoon which is likely to start from July 5, the month of September is also expected to have higher-than-average rainfall.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Director General (DG) Ahmad Kamal said, natural disasters cannot be pre-empted but their impact can be mitigated by planning. He emphasised the need to form committees and teams for quick relief to the affected people in case of a natural calamity.
“We have requested the government to include disaster management as a subject in the syllabus till matriculation,” said DG NDMA. “Disasters, whether natural or technological occurrences, have an adverse effect on efforts aimed at sustainable development.”
Kamal said that in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, the government had promulgated the National Disaster Preparedness Ordinance. This resulted in the establishment of NDMA and provincial disaster management authorities.
A national-level disaster management framework was also introduced in 2006. Dr Shafiquddin, one of the experts, said, “We lack disaster preparedness and no significant effort has been made to improve the situation.”
The country is at risk of geological to hydro-meteorological and climatic disasters. In the recent decade, Pakistan has been affected by several catastrophes including the earthquake in 2005, floods in 2007, 2010 and 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.