Monday, April 23, 2012

Poor disaster management in Pakistan

M. Zaidi in The recent avalanche in Siachen that buried 138 Pakistani soldiers and civilians in a mass of icy rubble once again highlighted the devastation which can be wrought by natural calamities, and why it is imperative to be adequately prepared for them.
Pakistan is exposed to multiple forms of natural and manmade disasters. Natural disasters range from earthquakes, floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides, and sea-based hazards. A relief and response model for coping with disasters has been the basis of our reactive response to disasters.
Floods have been prevalent, and in the 1960s a flood control programme was launched which made its way to the Fourth Five-Year Plan. The national disaster plan in 1974 by the Federal Emergency Relief Cell was the first plan which envisaged procedures, organisational structures, responding agencies and procedures for monitoring relief operations. Unfortunately, the plan never materialised beyond the paper on which it was written.
....The National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) seeks to upgrade the country’s ability to cope with all conceivable disasters. The national strategy for disaster management in Pakistan classifies small, medium and large-scale natural and manmade disasters in the country and corresponding response mechanisms and procedures. It also illustrates structures and mechanisms for providing operational direction to disaster management authorities at the federal, provincial and district levels....
A destroyed bridge during Pakistan's 2010 floods

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