ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Monday informed the 13th annual meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster Management that Pakistan had the water storage capacity of 30 days as compared to standard capacity of 100 days.

Even that capacity is being reduced due to sedimentation of dams, it said, adding per capita water availability in Pakistan has drastically reduced from 5,300 cubic metre (CUM) in 1947 to less than 1,000 CUM in 2016.

Representatives of as many as 16 countries participated in the meeting.

India and Bangladesh were among the 10 countries which either skipped or did not attend the meeting. Because of the absence of the Indian delegation it is not clear that if Pakistani authorities will attend the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) scheduled to be held in New Delhi in first week of November 2016. The input of RCC will significantly contribute to AMCDRR.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the participants said Pakistan being one of the most experienced country in coping with hazards had played key role in global discussions and formulation of policies, plans and frameworks at regional and international levels for disaster risk reduction.

He said that Asia was greatly vulnerable to the negative impacts of both geological hazard and climate change phenomena. He, therefore, emphasized the need for enhanced partnerships for sustainable developments, sharing of knowledge, expertise and technology for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly for developing countries.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2016