NDMA warns of drought-like situation in Sindh, parts of Balochistan

Published November 17, 2018
This file photograph shows a farmer posing in his dried up field. — AFP/File
This file photograph shows a farmer posing in his dried up field. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned of a drought-like situation in Sindh and parts of Balochistan, highlighting that the condition may become severe in the coming days as a dry spell is predicted in many parts of the country.

A report of the NDMA containing short-term and long-term recommendations and measures has been submitted to the president and the Prime Minister Office.

The report has also been shared with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Sindh, and other stakeholders for necessary action.

The NDMA is the lead federal agency tasked with mitigating and countering the impact of natural disasters.

The report has been prepared after the NDMA received directives from both the president and the prime minister in this regard.

The authority has suggested that certain measures are required in the wake of serious water shortage in the country. It may provide family data to the Sindh PDMA as well as the provincial relief department to distribute assistance packages among the affected families in calamity-hit areas.

Report submitted to president, PM contains short-term and long-term measures

It has been decided that to alleviate hardship and miseries of the affected people, the Recovery & Rehabilitation Directorate of the NDMA would act as “drought secretariat” to ensure timely, coordinated and smooth flow of information among all stakeholders.

The authority has also sought suggestions from the Sindh PDMA if any additional relief assistance was required from the federal government or the NDMA.

In the process of finalising the report, the NDMA also held a seminar in collaboration with the Sindh PDMA, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and Unicef to analyse the current drought-like situation in eight districts, particularly in Tharparkar.

The NDMA has discussed availability of water for human consumption as well as agriculture and livestock usage with relevant agencies. Adverse impacts of drought on the livelihood and resultant migration were also discussed.

The NDMA has expressed the fear that prolonged dry spell may cause water stress in cultivated areas of the country due to limited supply of irrigation water for Kharif crops and may also aggravate the existing drought-like conditions.

The NDMA plans to hold a ‘national consultative seminar’ next month in Islamabad to discuss intensity and extent of drought situation across Pakistan.

The purpose of this seminar is to formulate a comprehensive national strategy to effectively mitigate the adverse effects of drought.

The authority has sought a sector-wise consolidated situation report as well as recommendations for future course of action from all provincial disaster management authorities and district disaster management authorities and line departments of the districts facing the drought-like situation.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018

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