Islamabad : National Monsoon Preparedness Conference-2019 was held here under the auspices of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to reviewing preparations for anticipated monsoon rains and flooding and sharing National Monsoon Contingency Response Guidelines 2019 with all stakeholders.
Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal, chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in his opening remarks said that the conference would set the stage to consolidate the gains of complete preparedness process. “This will enable disaster management authorities of the country to cope up with impending hazards in a more professional manner”, he continued. He further highlighted that besides the preparedness and response measures, climate change phenomenon also to be taken into consideration as it has already started casting its adverse impacts upon the region in the form of extreme weather events.
Director General Pakistan Met Department (PMD) highlighted the salient feature of Weather Outlook for Monsoon Season - 2019. The forecast stated that rainfall over the country as a whole, this year (July-Sep) is likely to remain near normal, however normal to above normal rainfall is expected in upper half of the country.
Similarly, extreme weather events are also expected during the period which may cause flooding in the rivers and its adjoining tributaries. While slight to moderate, below normal rainfall is expected in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.
Representative of all provincial/regional disaster management authorities presented the nature of vulnerabilities faced in their respective provinces/regions and state of their preparedness and prevention measures put in place to manage the vulnerabilities. They also shared the details of available rescue equipment and rehabilitation and relief stocks in their warehouses for the emergencies.
The FFC presented policy for dams’ management and province wise vulnerable points that needed special attention. The NHA shared progress on preparatory efforts undertaken for various national highways with special focus on KKH, Gilgit-Skardu Road, Dir-Chitral Road, Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad Road and Manshera-Naran Road. Moreover, UNOCHA shared resource capacities of UN agencies across Pakistan and its coordination mechanism.
NDMA Member Operations, Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed highlighted the aims and objectives of the National Pre-Monsoon Preparedness Conferences-2019.