ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), on the directives of President Arif Alvi has submitted a comprehensive report on the drought-like situation in Sindh.
The report that contains short and long-term recommendations and measures has been submitted to the President Secretariat and Prime Minister’s (PM) Office and has also been shared with the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) as well as other concerned stakeholders.
The NDMA, being the country’s lead federal agency, has coordinated with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) in providing family data to Sindh PDMA and Sindh Relief Department, enabling them to distribute assistance packages among affected families in the calamity-hit areas.
Furthermore, it has also asked the Sindh PDMA about any additional relief assistance that may be required from the federal government or NDMA itself.
To alleviate the hardships of affected people, the NDMA’s Recovery and Rehabilitation Directorate acts as a “Drought Secretariat” to ensure the timely, coordinated and smooth flow of information between all stakeholders.
Last month, NDMA, in collaboration with Sindh PDMA, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had conducted a one-day seminar in Karachi to analyse the current drought situation in eight districts, particularly the Tharparkar.
The aim was to focus and plan short-term and long-term sustainable remedial measures to mitigate the sufferings of the drought affectees. Participants of the consultative seminar discussed the availability of water for human consumption, agriculture and livestock in detail. The issue of the adverse impacts that droughts have on the livelihood and resultant migration, as well as its effects on health and state of nutrition of pregnant women, lactating women and child mortality, were also discussed in detail.
The NDMA’s report warrants an immediate and proactive action to cope up with the drought in Sindh and parts of Balochistan. The situation may get even more serious in the coming days due to a prolonged dry spell that has been predicted in many parts of the country.
It is feared that the prolonged dry spell may cause water stress in the cultivated lands of the country due to a limited supply of irrigation water for Kharif crops and may also aggravate the existing drought.
NDMA has planned another National Consultative Seminar (NCS) in the second week of December at Islamabad to discuss intensity and extent of the drought across Pakistan.
The purpose is to formulate a comprehensive national strategy to effectively mitigate the adverse effects of drought. For this, NDMA has sought a sector-wise consolidated situation report as well as recommendations for the future course of action from PDMAs, District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA), and Line Departments of the districts facing droughts.