Sunday, March 13, 2011

Punjab's Irrigation Department stresses steps to deal with floods

Munawar Hasan in the News (Pakistan): As the monsoon is just a few months away, an assessment by the provincial irrigation department has stressed the need to take effective steps to deal with a flood-like situation, which, experts say, can be more likely in the future due to climate change. Keeping in view the unprecedented flood of 2010, there benchmarks should be upgraded in terms of protection works’ height and strength along the rivers, evolving a fresh drainage plan for quick draining of floodwater from the affected areas. This is the crux of post-flood assessment prepared by the Punjab Irrigation and Power Department.

The report also suggests various ways and means to deal with floods in the future. Recalling the horrific details of the recent flood, it has noted that exceptionally high flood that hit the Kalabagh Barrage, first water sector infrastructure in Punjab downstream Tarbela Dam, caused breaching on July 29, 2010. Peaks of flash-flood wrecked havoc in the province, from Mianwali to Rahimyar Khan districts.

…As an assessment of the situation and future line of action, the Punjab Irrigation Department has underlined the need to give due importance to flood protection works in resource allocation, irrespective of the infrequency of floods. As per evaluation of Irrigation Department, the governance at local level is non-existent during emergencies. There is need for a fresh look at the district and Tehsil administration system to increase the ability for effective leadership and coordination during emergencies.

….It observed that flood 2010 also provided an opportunity to build better and safer structures, investment in disaster preparedness and effective management of relief and early recovery, better regulation of riverine/khadir areas and a proper regulatory and enforcement mechanism, building water storages to mitigate the impact of super floods, improving institutions and governance at district and tehsil level for effective leaders during crisis, building positive synergies between an active media and positive spread of message among the masses during crisis….

In August 2010, a NASA image of an area immediately northwest of the large bend in the Indus River where it flows from Punjab into Sindh Province. Jhatpat, Nuttal, Sibi, and most of the land area shown in this image lie in Balochistan Province

1 comment:

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