Ongoing efforts to minimize disaster risk in winter – Journal

PESHAWAR: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Sharif Hussain said efforts are underway to identify and minimize disaster risks and vulnerabilities with the help of relevant government departments and humanitarian partners during the winter.

He said this while chairing the last consultative meeting held in preparation for the winter emergency plan, according to a statement released here.

Officers from district administration, line departments, universities, Islamic Relief Pakistan staff and PDMA attended the meeting.

The CEO of PDMA said he launched the winter contingency planning process from October 2021 by involving stakeholders. He said the contingency plan would be developed by mid-November.

Data collection tools have been developed and shared with stakeholders, including information regarding district / sector specific hazards and vulnerability profile, impact of hazards, damage, compensation paid, mapping of resources, needs assessment and coordination.

He said that as part of the plan, the PDMA would work to mitigate losses likely to be caused by disasters. Natural hazards include extremely low temperatures, fog / smog, snowfall, precipitation, landslides, flash floods, and seismic activity along the northern and western mountains.

The winter contingency plan will rank the vulnerability and risk assessment of districts as very high, high, medium and low, the director general said. The particular geography, terrain and natural resources make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vulnerable to climatic hazards in both summer and winter.

Mr Hussain said some areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa such as Malakand and Hazara Divisions due to their high altitude were exposed to extreme weather conditions in winter spanning four months from December to March.

Director of Disaster Risk Management Zuhra Nigar said PDMA has initiated the process of introducing a proactive preparedness regime as part of NDMA guidelines to streamline response at provincial and district levels in coordination with all stakeholders.

Posted in Dawn, le 3 November 2021

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