Disaster management hoax
By: IFTIKHAR MIRZA
Islamabad: The late arrival of monsoon rains in KPK and Punjab has brought disaster to the poor once again despite promises from the government that very strict plans had been formulated to face the monsoon rains this year. The minister for Climate Change, Rana Farooq is requesting people to pray. Is that a joke or a serious request coming from a sitting minister? Apparently no solid viable plan came to light from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Seemingly again it was all hogwash for media and the general public. Practically, nothing has been done to prevent loss of property and lives of the poor people who fell victim to the torrential rains. One may ask what purpose does this ministry for Climate Change serves when it cannot handle a disaster which was predicted. NDMA is only counting heads and houses lost in flash rains and consequent floods. Despite warnings from meteorological department, that heavy rains are expected at the end of monsoon season, no precautionary measures were taken to save people living in low lying areas which could be hit by floods.
Similarly, the rescue operations are unsatisfactory, ending up in more loss of lives. Till now 78 lives have been lost and more than 5,000 houses have been damaged. Keeping in view the poverty of these people, the reconstruction of houses is a Herculean task. I am sure the disaster could have been averted if the government had spent less money on hiring staff of a ministry that is useless, and more on plans to handle such disasters.
Today is the era of science and technology and estimation can be made about the weather conditions very accurately. Through apt planning and putting in all necessary inputs scientifically, expected losses could have been curtailed. It is suggested that those who lost lives and houses in these floods may be financially compensated by the government, which does more in setting up innumerable ministries that cost the taxpayer millions, with no results. This ministry should be dissolved and the minister fired.