ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Major General Asghar Nawaz said on Monday that Pakistan was prone to earthquakes and floods and faced enormous challenges in view of climate change.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a media workshop on reporting disasters organised by the NDMA, he said, Pakistan stood eighth among 10 high- risk countries with respect to climate change.
Underlining the need for utilisation of resources for risk reduction during natural calamities, he said, the national flood protection plan had been finalised and hopefully it would soon be approved.
He said media reports help rescuers to reach the calamity-hit areas while stressing on an early response in emergencies. Media should play its role by airing public service messages, he said.
Presently the meteorological office did not have the capacity to forecast high- intensity storms, he said, adding: “I know about the limited resources with which the Met office has been working”.
“The threat of climate change is hovering over us which will stay,” he said. The NDMA chief said that the United States, Japan and countries in Europe became victims of natural disasters despite possessing modern technology.
He regretted construction of houses on water channels and occupation of the same even under the threat of floods.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s spokesman Musaddaq Malik while addressing the gathering said that Pakistan was one of the countries affected by climate change. He conceded that there were weaknesses in institutions but said nobody could win a war against Nature. There was a need to enhance the capacity and improve the performance of institutions meant to cope with the challenges posed by natural calamities. He asked the media to avoid spreading despondency and urged it to give a ray of hope to the poor people of the country.
Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, he said it would have far-reaching impact in the next two to three years.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2016