Thursday, April 3, 2014

How effective is Pakistan’s disaster authority?

IRIN: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was set up shortly after the 2005 quake that killed at least 87,000 people in northern Pakistan to act as the “implementing, coordinating and monitoring body” for disaster management.  What the government wanted was an NDMA that stands ready to pre-empt and respond to natural disasters as they occur. Did it get it? Opinions vary.

“Right now, we see problems with disaster management - and were just discussing why the drought and famine in Tharparkar had been allowed to occur despite the existence of the disaster prevention bodies,” Mushtaq Ahmed Jan, lecturer at Peshawar University’s Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management told IRIN, blaming the problem on the Meteorological Office’s failure to predict low rainfall, followed by mismanagement at several levels.

Other experts echo this view. Disaster management in Pakistan has “not been very effective”, Abuturab Khan, assistant professor at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, based in Abottabad, told IRIN. Khan was one of the authors of a report Natural hazards and disaster management in Pakistan produced in 2008 and published by the Munich Personal RePEc Archive.

“Disaster management aims to reduce, or avoid the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims of disaster, and achieve rapid and effective recovery,” the report says. It questions Pakistan’s capacity to achieve this and says many flaws remain in delivering what people need in disasters of various kinds....

No comments: