NDMA re­views prepa­ra­tions for monsoon sea­son

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

ISLAMABAD—Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (NDMA) on Thurs­day reviewed all prepara­tory ef­forts at fed­eral and pro­vin­cial lev­els against floods, res­cue and re­lief mea­sures and flood re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion dur­ing the up­com­ing monsoon sea­son. The con­fer­ence was chaired by Chair­man NDMA Ma­jor Gen­eral As­ghar Nawaz.

While pre­sent­ing monsoon out­look of 2016, Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment pre­dicted like­li­hood of 1020 per cent above nor­mal rain­falls across the coun­try. More than av­er­age rain­fall is ex­pected over Pun­jab, Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, AJK and North East Balochis­tan. Some ex­treme rain­fall events are likely to oc­cur in catch­ment ar­eas of ma­jor rivers which may cause floods.

There is also a high prob­a­bil­ity of heavy down-pour which may gen­er­ate flash flood­ing along Sule­man Range. Some heavy down­pour events may pro­duce ur­ban flood­ing in big cities. Some strong in­cur­sions of monsoon cur­rents, cou­pled with high tem­per­a­ture, may trig­ger land­slides and flash floods in up­per Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa and Gil­git Baltistan.

Fed­eral Flood Com­mis­sion pre­sented prov­ince wise vul­ner­a­ble points need­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion, pol­icy for dam man­age­ment while Na­tional High­way Au­thor­ity (NHA) shared progress on prepara­tory ef­forts un­der­taken for var­i­ous na­tional high­ways with focus on KKH, Gil­gitSkardu Road, Dir-Chi­tral Road, Rawalpindi-Mur­ree-Muzaf­farabad Road and Mansehra-Naran Road. Pak­istan Army En­gi­neers Di­rec­torate in­formed par­tic­i­pants about army’s pre­pared­ness mea­sures in sup­port of civil ad­min­is­tra­tion.

UNOCHA shared re­source ca­pac­i­ties of UN agen­cies across Pak­istan and co­or­di­na­tion mecha-nism. NDMA pre­sented the salient fea­tures of Na­tional Monsoon Con­tin­gency Re­sponse Di­rec­tive-2016. NDMA re­al­is­ti­cally iden­ti­fied the lim­i­ta­tions of ex­ist­ing mech­a­nism within which have to op­er­ate.

Weak­nesses based on past ex­pe­ri­ences were also high­lighted for im­prove­ment. Four con­tin­gency sce­nar­ios have been vi­su­al­ized by NDMA based on the pre monsoon fore­cast is­sued by Pak­istan Met De­part­ment. These are mod­er­ately above nor­mal monsoon (most likely), in­tense monsoon (prob­a­ble), re­sponse all stake­hold­ers er­ratic monsoon (less prob­a­ble) and ab­nor­mal er­ratic monsoon (most dan­ger­ous).

Par­tic­i­pants were told that na­tional and pro­vin­cial re­sponse for flood fight­ing and res­cue and re­lief will be con­fig­ured against most likely sce­nario and mod­er­ately above nor­mal monsoon while all con­cerned must take safe­guard against other three sce­nar­ios as well. It was high­lighted that monsoon sea­son presents threat of river­ine floods, flash floods, ur­ban flood­ing and glacier lake floods.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity ma­trix was also pre­sented which de­fined the role of each de­part­ment. Ir­ri­ga­tion de­part­ment is pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for river­ine and flash flood man­age­ment while mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions and city de­vel­op­ment au­thor­i­ties and dis­trict gov­ern­ments are re­spon­si­ble for ur­ban flood man­age­ment.

NDMA and PDMA and all other line de­part­ments and or­ga­ni­za­tions are re­spon­si­ble for flood fight­ing, res­cue, re­lief, re­con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion op­er­a­tions. Armed forces are to be called for emer­gency re­sponse in aid of civil ad­min­is­tra­tion as per con­tin­gency plans.

NDMA re­sponse di­rec­tive out­lines ma­jor re­sponse guide­lines which in­clude com­mu­nity early warn­ing through SMS alerts in dis­tricts likely to be af­fected by floods, co­or­di­na­tion of re­lief stocks held with all dis­as­ter man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties, re­source map­ping and com­ple­tion of flood pro­tec­tion works be­fore June 30.—APP

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