By.Asghar Ali Mubarak
Islamabad: The National Post Monsoon-2017 Review Conference held at National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) here on Tuesday. The Conference was presided over by Chairman NDMA Lt. General Omar Mahmood Hayat.
While welcoming the participants of the Conference, Member Operations NDMA, Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed presented a countrywide overview of the Monsoon Season-2017. He shared the overall damages caused during Monsoon-2017 in various parts of the country and highlighted the relief measures taken, weaknesses/shortfall identified, and presented recommendations for the better preparedness for the upcoming Monsoon Season-2018.
Structured presentations were given by the representatives of all provincial and regional Disaster Management Authorities, (PDMAs) including State Disaster Management Authority (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority. Representatives from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), National Highway Authority (NHA) and Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam Authorities, WAPDA, SUPARCO and Engineers Directorate, GHQ also presented measures taken by their respective departments for the flood prevention and rehabilitation during Monsoon-2017 and their preparations for next Monsoon Season-2018.
Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat while appreciating the efforts of all concerned, highlighted that extreme catastrophic events mainly floods present major challenge for Pakistan. Since the Super Floods of 2010, where precious 200 lives were lost beside billions of dollars of financial losses to the national exchequers, the Government of Pakistan has been adopting various measures at different levels to fill the gaps which were identified. “Although we have come a long way and stand much better today than in 2010/ 2011, still there are gaps which need to be addressed” he continued and said that constant meetings and discussions among stakeholders like today not only enable us to understand each other but also help us to be better prepared for future. He noted that besides consolidating the losses and experiences of Monsoon 2017, today’s Conference had provided a more refined input for the preparation of Monsoon 2018. Chairman NDMA assured the various stakeholders that NDMA acknowledges the valued input, recommendations and experiences rendered by participants in the conference which will be evaluated for incorporation in our future Guidelines. He concluded after this conference Disaster Management Structure of the Country will take on the impending Monsoon Season in a more confident, professional and prudent manner in close collaboration with all stakeholders at National/ Provincial level, UN & Developmental Partners.
Later, a periodical coordination conference presided over by Chairman NDMAs was also held where all the DGs of provincial/regional Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) participated to discuss improved coordination among the Disaster Management Structure of the country to ensure smooth working.