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NDMA chief calls for addressing monsoon preparedness gaps

By our correspondents
January 10, 2018

Islamabad: Though we have come a long way and stand much better today than in 2010 and 2011, still there are gaps, which need to be addressed for better preparedness for the upcoming monsoon season.

This was stated by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt-General Omar Mahmood Hayat while chairing the National Post Monsoon-2017 Review Conference here on Tuesday.

While welcoming the participants, NDMA Member Operations Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed presented a countrywide overview of the Monsoon Season-2017. He shared the overall damages caused during Monsoon-2017 in various parts of the country and highlighted the relief measures taken, weaknesses/shortfall identified, and presented recommendations for the better preparedness for the upcoming Monsoon Season-2018.

Structured presentations were given by the representatives of all provincial and regional Disaster Management Authorities, including State Disaster Management Authority (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority. Representatives from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), National Highway Authority (NHA) and Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam Authorities, WAPDA, SUPARCO and Engineers Directorate, GHQ also presented measures taken by their respective departments for the flood prevention and rehabilitation during Monsoon-2017 and their preparations for next Monsoon Season-2018.

The NDMA chairman while appreciating the efforts of all concerned highlighted that extreme catastrophic events mainly floods present major challenge for Pakistan. "Since the Super Floods of 2010, where precious 200 lives were lost beside billions of dollars of financial losses to the national exchequers, the government of Pakistan has been adopting various measures at different levels to fill the gaps which were identified.

“Although we have come a long way and stand much better today than in 2010/ 2011, still there are gaps which need to be addressed,” he said. The NDMA chief said the constant meetings and discussions among stakeholders like today not only enabled us to understand each other but also help us to be better prepared for future. He noted that besides consolidating the losses and experiences of Monsoon 2017, today’s conference had provided a more refined input for the preparation of Monsoon 2018.

The NDMA chairman assured stakeholders that the authority acknowledged the valued input, recommendations and experiences rendered by participants in the conference, which would be evaluated for incorporation in our future guidelines.

He said in light of the conference's recommendations, the disaster management structure of the country would take on the impending Monsoon Season in a more confident, professional and prudent manner in close collaboration with all stakeholders at national and provincial levels, UN and developmental partners.

Later, a periodical coordination conference presided over by the NDMA chairman was held where all the DGs of provincial/regional disaster management authorities participated to discuss improved coordination among the disaster management structure of the country to ensure smooth working.