Climatic change was not accounted for, says NDMA


Offering a new excuse, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Friday said unprecedented rains in Sindh due to climatic changes had caused the current floods in the province.
“The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) original forecast for Sindh and Punjab was 10 percent above normal and the NDMA had planned to cater to 2 million victims. However, actual rainfall was 145 percent above normal in Sindh. This fluctuation was due to climatic changes and we could not account for it,” NDMA spokesman Ahmed Kamal told Pakistan Today. Reminded of an earlier statement to Pakistan Today that the 2011 rains would be lower than the 2010 rains, he said climatic changes meant exact weather patterns could not be forecasted. However, he said the NDMA’s contingency plan was in place and it was in position to provide to all flood victims in Sindh.
“We are prepared to deal with around 2 million victims as per our contingency plan,” he said. Asked why the NDMA had not factored weather fluctuations into its plan, Kamal said proper town planning and drainage was vital to mitigating disaster impact. He said there was a need for Urban Disaster Risk Assessment across the country and the NDMA had completed the assessment for 30 districts and sent it to the international community for funding.
He said the NDMA was capable of dealing with the current flooding. He said the NDMA had asked the Utility Stores Corporation to provide 50,000 ration packs for flood-hit areas and directed the National Health Emergency Response Network to expedite efforts to provide health facilities in such areas.
He said the NDMA had sent one representative to each of the affected districts to monitor gaps in response and coordination among different departments and ensure assistance to victims.