Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pakistan flood rebuilding to take at least 3-5 years

Thin Lei Win in AlertNet: Pakistan's reconstruction following the worst floods in recorded history will take a minimum of three to five years, the head of the country's disaster management body said, adding that more money should have been poured into maintaining dikes and dams. Massive flooding began in Pakistan in July last year, leaving an area the size of England under water and destroying more than 2 million hectares of crops. More than 1,750 people were killed and 10 million people left homeless.

It was the kind of disaster experts predict may become more frequent as climate change brings more extreme and variable weather, including more intense rainfall. “We are spending $3 billion in relief and recovery and we’ve suffered over $10 billion in terms of losses without even including the trauma that people went through,” General Nadeem Ahmed, chairman of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) told AlertNet in an interview late on Wednesday.

“Had we spent only $40 million in making sure our flood protection structures are maintained, these losses would’ve been reduced to one-tenth. We would have been able to save a lot of lives, properties and the trauma the affected population went through," he told journalists. … Pakistan lost more than 10,000 schools, 500 health facilities and some 18,000 kms of roads and bridges in the disaster that ploughed a swathe of destruction from northern Pakistan to the southern province of Sindh….

No comments: