The widespread devastation caused by high floods in Pakistan in a matter of less than a week presents horrid pictures of people, livestock and property being swept away by the surging waves fed by heavy downpour.The widespread devastation caused by high floods in Pakistan in a matter of less than a week presents horrid pictures of people, livestock and property being swept away by the surging waves fed by heavy downpour. Entire villages have been wiped out and infrastructure severely damaged in different parts of the country. Rising water flow in rivers has broken the more than 100-year old records as the flood wave moves towards Sindh. The Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been worst affected, closely followed by the districts of Southern Punjab. In just five days, more than 1,300 people have lost their lives and the number is rapidly rising in view of the slow pace of the rescue and relief efforts and the meteorological department’s forecast of more rains. Pakistan is in the middle of the biggest flood disaster in its history.
A communiqué has been developed by UNDP to document the measures taken by the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) team based in National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for preparedness, rescue and relief to mitigate the impacts of flood in Pakistan in the following districts. Most of the activities have been carried out by the PDMA, DDMA have been done through the support by UNDP.
JHANG: Personnel of DDMA (Revenue Department) have been trying to evacuate people from vulnerable areas. District Government has already identified seventeen safer places and has established Flood Emergency Cell. District Officer (Colony) has designated to under take Flood Rescue and Shelter activities. With UNDP’s support, DDMA has also established DRM Forums. Members of these forums are community members (men and women both) and local activists. They meet on a monthly basis to assess the situation and plan search and rescue activities. The members have also formed a “Community Rapid Response Team” in three vulnerable Union Councils (UCs). These teams have actively responded to the current devastating situation by utilising search and rescue equipment such as boats and life jackets etc.
RAJANPUR: Southern Punjab is facing heavy floods as well, the affected areas are Layyah, Rajanpur and Mianwali. DDMA and the Tehsil administration jointly arranged motor boats and have immediately evacuated inhabitants from the area. Data collection has also been done. The Police also responded immediately by evacuating villagers. The DDMA Coordinator and the Media Focal Person have been coordinating with different channels and newspapers and giving briefings on the current situation. They also liaising with print and electronic media to telecast news alerts on Radio Pakistan Multan and Bahawalpur to inform people of the impending situation and for them to evacuate the area. These public service messages are being telecast by PTV and Radio Pakistan (Multan and Bahawalpur). DDMA has also coordinated with District Disaster Management Coordination Council (DDMCC) members and other NGOs to intervene in the affected areas to motivate the affectees and tell them not to resist evacuation.
NOWSHEHRA: DDMA (Revenue department) have been doing assessments in the vulnerable areas and identifying the number of people stranded in water. NGO’s are providing food to some few hundred people and have also established a few medical camps, although they have limited resources. A District Disaster Resource Center was also established by DDMA recently. The objective was to manage and disseminate disaster related information through a resource inventory at district level. Also, to maintain volunteer data base and training manuals for the use of the personnel of government organizations, CBOs and NGOS etc. entered into it along with slush.
HARIPUR: DDMA Haripur has set up District Disaster Resource Center with the support of UNDP. This center has been utilized as “District Flood Control Room” to monitor the flood situation 24/7 .
SIALKOT: District Sialkot is also facing High flood because more than 200000Cs water has passed at Head Marala Barrage on 28th July 2010. The Flood has damaged standing crops and inundated the streets of villages. DDMA has divided the whole District into 17 sectors and 34 Sub sectors to measure and respond to flood situation., established Flood Control Centre at the district level which works and responds 24/7 to the disaster occurring in the area.
It identified and marked safer zones in case of an emergency evacuation of local population. The sites for relief camps were identified beforehand. DDMA Sialkot motivated volunteers (Razakars) through the Civil Defence Department and assigned duties to them.
GILGIT: The Gilgit river has flooded past its normal level due to excessive rainfall in district Ghizer and as a result many households have been damaged. Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA) has already evacuated people from Basin Gilgit and have requested for relief items. The affectees have been moved to various schools in the city.
Sindh: A DRM preparedness team has also been launched for the Sindh (Kashmore, Ghotki, Badin, Thatta, Dadu) to prepare the communities in case they are hit next by the floods . A preliminary report on the findings and preparedness measures will be shared next week.
Plan of action: At the moment there is an assessment being carried out by DRM team in all the affected districts of the country . These assessments will identify key areas which UNDP will take forward as early recovery interventions. UNDP will continue to entertain the emergency requests of the governments e.g. emergency response cell for floods, and any other support which will help save lives and facilitate the communities to under take early recovery activities.