LAHORE: Punjab Flood Management Systems will take another year in up-gradation as the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) was not able to design institutional strengthening activities despite lapse of three deadlines, it is learnt.
Sources told Pakistan Today that the deadline ended in June. They said that the situation needed an urgent assistance or capacity constraints assessment, which took almost a year in finalising of hiring a firm to undertake the capacity assessment of the PDMA.
They said that a strong disaster response mechanism plays a crucial role in saving lives, livelihoods, and helps in achieving sustainable recovery and long-term disaster risk reduction, whereas the assessment was to provide help in furnishing technical assistance for sustainable risk mitigation and response to increase resilience to disasters.
Floods hit in early September 2014, including Punjab and over eight districts of Kashmir, Neelum, Hattian, Bagh, Poonch, Haveli, Kotli, Bhimber and Muzaffarabad. It was estimated by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) that the floods affected over 2.5 million people in both rural and urban areas. The federal and provincial governments were proactive in relief operations in the immediate aftermath of the floods. The relief phase has been concluded and the response is now gradually moving from early recovery to medium and longer-term planning for recovery, reconstruction and increasing resilience.
Though the district disaster management authorities (DDMA) have been formed in twelve vulnerable districts and provided with the human resource and equipment; however, the capacity of using equipment has yet to determine. They said that the PDMA has also been working on Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) activities, including hiring of resources persons and undertaking consultations with various provincial line departments; while on the other hand, development of any strategy is completely absent.
The PMIC in AJK is also carrying out topographic surveys and detailed designs of civil works and it is being expected that all works would be awarded after the season, between September and December 2017.
Sources said that seven years after its enactment, the NDM Act 2010 was not yet fully implemented, and details on how to operationalise it were still to be defined.
At federal level, they said, the necessary legal, institutional and policy measures have been taken by the government for DRM; however, there were a number of entities working on DRM with overlapping mandates in addition to the NDMA.
At the provincial level, they said, the multiplicity of institutions were also present, which include, PDMAs, the Provincial Irrigation Departments (PIDs), and the civil defence and rescue services. The PDMA also have differing capacities across provinces and administrative regions; similarly, the DDMA have only been established in selected districts and their operational capacity varies significantly.
They said that there is a need for the implementation of the NDM Act 2010 through greater clarity in functional mandates, strengthening capacities of disaster management institutions, and operationalisation of disaster management funds at the federal, provincial and district levels.