The least the Nawaz Sharif government could do is to start working from the word go in the wake of the United Nations’ warning that funding constraints would seriously hamper the provision of rapid response and life-saving assistance in the event of floods expected in the current year's monsoon which is not very far away.

The UN has said that 1.5 million affectees of the last year floods may still require humanitarian assistance. One year after the worst flooding in the history of the region more floods are likely to result from heavy rains threatening the southern part of the country. Flooding in rivers is generally caused by heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, often augmented by snowmelt flows. Monsoon currents originating in the Bay of Bengal and resultant depressions often cause heavy downpour in the Himalayan foothills. These are additionally affected by weather systems from the Arabian Sea by seasonal lows and from the Mediterranean Sea through westerly waves, which occasionally produce destructive floods in one or more of the main rivers of the Indus system. However, exceptionally high floods have occasionally been caused by the formation of temporary natural dams by landslides or glacier movement and their subsequent collapse. The disaster management authorities would also have to watch over this aspect as most of the times they fail to deal with such situations.

The authorities concerned know what needs to be done. In addition to this, Shahbaz Sharif has had a firsthand experience of floods in the year 2011-12 and hopefully he would take the right measures. Once when the floods start, it becomes very hard to stop them or even control them. Let us not forget the floods of the past when losses were worth billions of rupees, while human losses were also great. At present very little time is left, and whatever must be done, it should be done. The federal and provincial governments must work on a war-footing to deal with a calamity almost in the making.