Islamabad 9 th June 2016:
NDMA Holds National Pre Monsoon 2016 Preparedness Conference
1. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) organized Pre Monsoon 2016 Preparedness Conference, at Islamabad on 9th June 2016. It was aimed at reviewing all preparatory efforts put in place at Federal / Provincial level for Monsoon Season-2016 and to harmonize all related Provincial and Departmental Plans with respect to Flood Fighting, Rescue, Relief and Post Flood Rehabilitation.
2. Conference was chaired by Chairman NDMA Major General Asghar Nawaz. It was attended by senior representatives of various Federal Ministries including Communication, Water & Power and Railways. Officials from WAPDA, Provincial Irrigation Departments, DGs of PDMAs / SDMA / GBDMA / FDMA & IRSA, representatives of Armed Forces, CDA, NESPAK, SUPARCO, Pakistan Red Crescent, UN agencies, Pakistan Boys Scouts Association, Pakistan Girls Guide Association and all other relevant Provincial & Federal Departments.
3. While presenting Monsoon Outlook of 2016, PMD predicted likelihood of 10 – 20% above Normal rainfalls across the country. More than Average rainfall is expected over Punjab, KP, Sindh, AJK & North East Balochistan. Some extreme rainfall events are likely to occur in catchment areas of major rivers which may cause Floods. There is also a high probability of heavy downpour which may generate Flash Flooding along Suleman Range. Some heavy downpour events may produce Urban Flooding in big cities. Some strong incursions of Monsoon currents, coupled with high temperature, may trigger GLOF, Landslides and Flash Floods in Upper KP and GB. FFC presented province wise vulnerable points needing special attention, policy for Dam management, NHA shared progress on preparatory efforts undertaken for various National Highways with focus on KKH, Gilgit-Skardu Road, Dir-Chitral Road, Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad Road, Manshera-Naran Road. Pakistan Army Engineers Directorate informed participants about Army’s preparedness measures in support of civil administration. UNOCHA shared resource capacities of UN agencies across Pakistan coordination mechanism.
4. NDMA presented the salient of National Monsoon Contingency Response Directive-2016. NDMA realistically identified the limitations of existing Response Mechanism within which all stakeholders have to operate. Weaknesses based on past experiences were also highlighted for improvement. Four Contingency Scenarios have been visualized by NDMA based on the Pre Monsoon Forecast issued by Pakistan Met Department. These are “Moderately Above Normal Monsoon” (Most Likely), “Intense Monsoon (Probable)”, “Erratic Monsoon (Less Probable)”, Abnormal Erratic Monsoon (Most Dangerous). Participants were asked that National/Provincial Response for Flood Fighting / Rescue / Relief will be configured against “Most Likely Scenario i.e “Moderately Above Normal Monsoon” while all concerned must take safeguard against other three scenarios as well.
5. It was highlighted that Monsoon Season presents threat of Riverine Floods, Flash Floods, Urban Flooding and Glacier Lake Floods. The responsibility Matrix was also presented which defined the role of each department i.e. FFC / Provincial. Irrigation Department being primarily responsible for Riverine / Flash Flood management while Municipal Corporations/ City Development Authorities / District Governments are responsible for Urban Flood Management. NDMA/PDMA and all other Line Departments / Organizations are responsible for Flood Fighting, Rescue, Relief, Reconstruction & Rehabilitation operations within respective domain. Armed forces are to be called for emergency response in Aid of Civil Administration as per Contingency Plans.
6. NDMA Response Directive outlines major response guidelines which include community early warning through SMS Alerts in districts likely to be affected by floods, coordination of relief stocks held with all PDMAs/DDMAs, resource mapping, completion of flood protection works before 30 June 2016, availability of bailey bridges for critical sections by NHA, placement of earth moving machinery in KP, AJK & GB at isolated zones by respective highway departments, timely evacuations at encroached settlements in river plains, enhancement of Early Warning System for communities in Flash Flood prone areas and maintenance of flood rescue equipment.
7. Chairman NDMA while thanking all participants hoped that NDMA’s Response Directive will provide guidance to all Disaster Management Authorities and relevant stakeholders for execution of respective contingency plans.