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Disaster Management Essay

1022 words - 5 pages

Everybody knows that no
country, however powerful
or developed, has been able
to develop total protection
against natural calamities.
Earthquakes, hurricanes,
volcanic eruptions, flooding
by rivers and excessive rains
or snowfall have been taking
their toll throughout the
world. The only relevant
question in such situations is
whether a state can keep the
losses to the minimum
possible through a mix of
measures adopted before
and after a natural disaster.
It is doubtful if the people
have become aware of the
exact magnitude of the
disaster that has struck
Pakistan over the past couple
of weeks. In fact, what the
people in the rural areas,
especially in the relatively
...view middle of the document...

The
government is reported to
have taken the National
Disaster-Management
Authority (NDMA) to task for
its undisclosed lapses but
similar missiles should be
fired at the Cabinet Division,
Wapda, the provincial
irrigation departments and
the Civil Defence authorities.
Quite a few minds need to
be disabused of the notion
that their duties begin only
when a natural calamity has
taken place. We are living in
an age when great strides
have been made in weather
and climate forecasting. This
year ’s monsoon precipitation
and the consequent swelling
of rivers were not wholly
unexpected. The people
have a right to know as to
what measures had been
adopted to deal with the
situation that had been, or
should have been,
anticipated.
The success of disaster-
management steps depends
to a considerable extent on
the efficiency of early
warning systems. Some
improvement in this area
was noticed after Balochistan
and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
had been devastated. The
evacuation of the people
from the areas threatened by
flood waters improved as
huge bodies of water flowed
downstream. But a large
number of people in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and
Balochistan were caught
unawares. At many places,
such as Malakand Division,
the unavailability of reliable
means of communication
added to the population ’s
misery.
Unfortunately, the need for
short-range radio
transmitters in the
mountainous region that was
felt during the 2005
earthquake was not seriously
addressed. Such services
could have helped in saving
quite a few lives in 2005.
The story seems to have
been repeated after last
month ’s rains. The efforts
made by the TV channels to
keep their audience
informed about the flood
situation and the adequacy
or otherwise of relief
measures are no doubt
commendable but they
cannot fill the role of an
early warning system
beyond a certain point.
A network of wireless
reporting centres in non-
urban settlements is what
we urgently need in order to
ensure an effective warning
system. The fact that FM radio
...

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