–NDMA chairman says WB aid will assist various disaster management projects
ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat on Thursday said that the World Bank (WB) has agreed to provide financial assistance to the authority, adding that the aid will go towards the execution of its various disaster management projects.
The NDMA chairman told APP that the authority aims to create an integrated information management system with the assistance of World Bank.
He said that National Disaster Risk Management Force, initially comprising of 200 personnel is a part of District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) projects to be executed by the authority.
“A working paper has been sent to all the chief ministers, explaining to them the workings of empowering and configuring DDMAs for appropriate disaster response and risk management,” Gen Hayat said.
He added: “All provincial governments have notified about these measures and some have even started adopting the proposed system.”
PM KHAN’S VISION:
While commenting on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance to empower local bodies, he said local bodies are critical to the DDMA setup.
Lt Gen Omar said that Pakistan’s is the only national-level disaster management organisation which employees only 150 personnel.
“Thailand’s disaster management authority in Bangkok has a staff of 6,500 personnel while the Turkish authority has a 10,000 personnel staff,” he added.
He said that the country bore losses worth US$ 18 billion during the floods from 1947-2010 while from 2010-2018 the damages were worth over US$ 19.5 billion.
“If 1/10 the of the mentioned amount was invested for disaster risk mitigation measures, we could reduce these huge losses caused by floods,” he added.
According to Gen Hayat, the NDMA has developed a proactive approach to mitigate monsoon disaster risks and damages with efficient system.
“It collects preliminary data with the help of concerned departments based on the weather forecasts indicating monsoon patterns and likely impacts,” he explained.
“The authority then holds a Pre-Monsoon Preparedness Conference to share the forecast of Monsoon Season for making the district administrations, PDMAs and DDMAs aware and preventive measures,” he added.