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HYDERABAD: Partici­pants in a rally organised by NGOs here on Monday urging the government to ens­ure a proactive role of the National Disaster Mana­g­e­ment Authority (NDMA) and its provincial chapters.

The rally was staged outside the local press club to mark the International Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Day.

They stressed the need for keeping the relevant departments, authorities and agencies in a state of preparedness to ensure minimum possible losses in the face of disasters.

Punhal Sario of the Sindh Hari Porhiat Council, Javed Soz of the Sindh Community Foundation, Dr Ashothama of the Human Rights Commission of Pakis­tan, Mustafa Baloch of the Strengthening Partici­patory Organisation, Irshad Junejo of the South Asia Partner­ship and Razzaq Umrani of the Health and Nutrition Development Society led the rally.

Referring to the DRR theme — resilience for life — , the leaders said that Pakistan had been experiencing effects of climate change, flash floods, drought and cyclone over the years as the country fell within the disaster-prone zone of South Asia. They noted that the Global Climate Risk Index 1993-2012 ranked Pakistan 12th in the list of the states most-affected by extreme weather conditions. They recalled that the recent floods in Punjab and the 2010, 2011 and 2012 floods in Sindh devasted the social and economic infrastructure of the two provinces.

They emphasised the need for making efforts tow­ards disaster risk reduction, and called for spelling out and integrating the required measures. DRR measures should be focused while chalking out programme and policies, they added.

The said funds should be earmarked DRR in development and infrastructure budgets in order to reduce social and economic vulnerability of the population.

They said that DRR should also be included in curriculum from school to university level.

They called for framing and implementing a national disaster risk reduction policy that should also cover urban areas.

BADIN: An awareness walk was held in Badin to mark the International Disa­s­ter Risk Reduction Day on Monday.

A large number of civil society activists belonging to various NGOs took part in the walk organised by the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP).

Speaking to the participants, NRSP district programme officer Abdul Ghaffar Khoso,

Prof Abdullah Mallah and others said that senior citizens who experienced and observed devastation cau­s­ed by disasters should be consulted for guidelines and assistance in formulating disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

They called for holding awareness walks and programmes in all big and small cities, towns and villages to help them save themselves in the event of a disaster.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2014