Disaster Management in Pakistan

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Disaster Management in Pakistan

On 26th October this year, thirty six trapped Chilean mine workers were rescued by drilling a deep hole into the mine. A month later, twenty nine mine workers in Newzeland died after remaining trapped for days in a mine. Poor disaster management cost precious lives. In Pakistan, too, Disaster management is not up to the mark. Be it the devastating earthquake, the catastrophic floods, the outbreak of fires or the aftermath of bomb blasts, the management was very poor. Certain measures like National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), and Rescue 1122 were taken but none has borne fruit yet. Lack of funds, scarcity of men and machinery, lack of awareness and preparedness of general public, hard demography, negative role of media, and delocalization of disaster management centers has added to the calamity of disasters. A realistic approach, proper training to workers and public, localization of disaster management centers, public awareness programs and positive role of media must be ensured for the proper disaster management in Pakistan.

Until now almost every disaster has hit Pakistan but the required response is given to none. The October, 2008 earthquake in Northern areas of Pakistan is a grim reminder of the scale of disaster. Almost eighty thousand people died and many towns devastated. Though, no single government with limited resources can cope with such a calamity, yet our government’s response was much late in the hard hit areas. Timely and efficient response could have saved many lives.

The recent floods of July-August have also seen the demonstration of poor disaster management in our country. Though, no country is prepared for such devastating floods, our government’s response could be much better. Instead of helping the people in the affected areas, our government set all their attention in appealing for aids to other countries and arranging...