Disasters on increase, govt capacity on decrease: Gen Nadeem

ISLAMABAD: Former Chairman of NDMA Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmad said frequency of disasters is increasing with every passing day whereas the capacity of the government is decreasing.

The former chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said this during a special seminar entitled “Pakistan: A year after flood 2010” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday.

He highlighted the difficult context of 2010 floods and remarkable contributions and support provided by the international community, government and communities.

He underscored revival of agriculture and shelter is most important needs of recovery and rehabilitation process. The retired general said that disaster resilience structures and communities, lack of political and bureaucratic will, capacity and financial resources, overwhelming focus on KPK while neglecting the Southern areas of the country, and unsettled and transitional issues between federal and provinces due to 18th amendment and NFC are some of the key future challenges.

He said that the weak institutional arrangement, faulty engineering structures and poor fund mobilization strategy of the government badly affected the reconstruction plans. He said that absence of local government system caused serious barriers in the process and highlighted the nine-point mid-term Plan of NDMA recently prepared in consultation with stakeholders.      

Naseer Memon, Chief Executive, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), Islamabad, Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, Advisor, Met & Climate Affairs Govt of Pakistan, M Zafar Iqbal, Recovery Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), were also present on this occasion.
On this occasion, Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry explained that the unusual interaction of two weather systems during 27-29 July and 2-9 Aug 2010 caused massive rainfall and flooding in Pakistan . He said that shifting of westerly wave and its interaction with easterly wave or monsoon coupled with jet stream stagnation for over two weeks led to heavy rainfalls and flooding 

He said there are numerous challenges ahead for the country and highlighted the need for establishment of Integrated Flood Forecasting and Management System, Localised Flash Flood Forecasting and Warning System, Regional Flood Forecasting Centres in all four provinces, Integrated Flood Forecasting System supported by Regional Flood Forecasting Centre and Localized Flash Flood Warning Centres and Radar Network etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Naseer Memon said that there were several other reasons which made the floods furious in addition to abnormal climatic circle.
In his turn, M Zafar Iqbal said that UN started flood response with 11 clusters across Pakistan . He said that if the UN System and Government would have been working in more coordinated and efficient way, the extent of destruction would have been less. He informed that accumulative financial support of the UN is around 70 percent of the total flood management support while there has been spontaneous response from different sources for the Early Recovery process.

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