Tuesday, August 16, 2022

PDMA develops monsoon contingency plan for natural hazards in KP

PESHAWAR: The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders has developed the monsoon contingency plan, 2022, in order to prevent and mitigate monsoon hazards and ensure a unified response in case of any untoward event.

Besides PDMA, other departments which have given their inputs in preparation of the plan include the district administration, provincial and federal line departments and development partners, according to a statement issued here on Saturday.

The contingency plan consists of identification of all vulnerabilities and risks, detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all stakeholders, identified camp sites, resource mapping and emergency contact numbers.

Talking to Dawn, PDMA director general Sharif Hussain said that natural hazards and consequent disasters caused massive losses to people’s lives, livelihoods and properties, which retarded economic growth.

Authority declares seven districts at ‘very high risk’

“Under this contingency plan, the PDMA will make all-out efforts to minimise the losses in natural disasters,” he said. The DG said that PDMA being cognizant of the importance of monsoon preparedness and contingency planning had worked out the contingency plan in line with its vision of disaster resilient Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the plan, seven districts of the province are ranked as ‘very high-risk’ districts for the upcoming monsoon. These districts include Charsadda, Upper Kohistan, Nowshera, Shangla, Upper Dir, Upper Chitral and Lower Chitral. Apart from that, the nine ‘high-risk’ districts include Tank, Malakand, DI Khan, Swat, Lower Dir, Torghar, Lower Kohistan, Kohistan (Patan) and Peshawar.

The process of monsoon contingency planning had been started from the first week of March 2022 by involving all the stakeholders. Tools for data collection, including information regarding district/sector-specific hazards and vulnerability profile, hazard impact, damage, compensation paid, resource mapping, need assessment and coordination, have been developed and shared with the stakeholders.

Due to the impacts of climate change and global warming a number of extreme climate events have been witnessed in the province like the recurrence in recent years of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) in the northern regions, especially in Chitral, which caused damage in the area.

Similarly, heavy rains accompanied with thunderstorms in Malakand and Hazara regions resulted in widespread damage and flooding downstream. Due to the changing weather patterns such types of events will increase in frequency in the future ahead, which warrants mitigative measures, preparedness and planning ahead of time and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies.

Monsoon contingency plan, 2022, details the hazards profile of all the districts with vulnerabilities and risks, available and deployed resources, mapping of public and private sector machinery, mechanism of coordination at the district, provincial and national levels, the type of strategy to be adopted and the formation of control room in case of any emergency situation.

The plan chalks out the preparedness level of all stakeholders and will serve as a guiding tool for them. It outlines different scenarios of emergency situations ranging from small-scale events to large-scale devastation and accordingly offers a clear picture of caseload, resources and relief to be provided for offsetting the impact of these events.

PDMA has already sent sufficient quantity of relief items to all the districts of KP and provided funds to be used for coping with any emergency situation.

PDMA director (disaster risk management) Zuhra Nigar said that the authority had installed flood early warning system (EWS) in the upper catchment areas at seven critical points at Swat River in Khawazakhela, Swat River at Chakdara Bridge, Panjkora River at Jabalot Bridge, Unkor UC Bibyawar, Upper Dir, Munda Head Works, Abazai, Kalpani River, Mardan Ring Road Bridge and rivers/nullahs to monitor the water level and generate early warning intimation to protect human losses.

She said that early warning system analysed the existing data with previous flash flood historical data and upon reaching a dangerous level the system generated alert signals.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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