PESHAWAR - Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Monday observed ‘National Disaster Awareness Day’ in collaboration with Social Welfare Department, Centre for Disaster and Preparedness Management (CDPM) and Care International at Islamia College University, Peshawar in remembrance of the martyrs of October 8, 2005 Earthquake, the greatest of all disasters in the history of Pakistan.

The objective of this event was to express solidarity with the bereaved families who lost their family members in the earthquake 2005, super-floods 2010 and subsequent disasters. The purpose was to create awareness regarding the spirit of both individual and joint efforts to face the pre and post-disaster challenges.

Adviser to Chief Minister for Industries Abdul Karim Khan was the chief guest on this occasion. Deans and faculty members from different departments along with a large number of students were present at this occasion. Project Director (PEOC) Waqas Illahi welcomed the participants. He highlighted the memories of 8th October, 2005 earthquake and added that the earthquake not only affected the human lives but also severely damaged the socio-economic fabric of the country.

On the occasion, the chief guest addressed the audience and appreciated the dedicated role of PDMA, CDPM and Islamia College University for arranging the occasion. He stressed on mainstreaming DRR into institutional planning. The government is also planning to integrate DRR into school’s curriculum.

He also added to work on community social welfare programme at university and college level as well. The youth involvement is critical for resilience building. He further added to use social media for public awareness.

Speaking on the occasion, the Director General PDMA Motasim Billah said that committed efforts were required for arrangements regarding disaster risk reduction. He urged the participants to work for community awareness at their respective levels. He also elaborated the arrangements made by the NDMA and PDMA.

He stressed on the implementation and enforcement of building codes policy, conducting geological surveys to identify vulnerable locations and multi hazard vulnerability assessment across the province. He further added that PDMA has been trying its level best to achieve the goal of resilience in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Mushtaq Ahmad, Assistant Prof CDPM said “They cannot stop natural disasters but they can reduce the losses through DRR. As a nation, we need to take the ownership and should be ready for any volunteer work.” He said Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, UoP conducts regular trainings. 

“This centre was established with the vision to equip human beings with the knowledge and skills to minimise the damages and miseries of disasters and CDPM is functioning in a right direction in achieving its goals. PDMA is doing wonderful job with Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management and we are ready for partnerships with everyone for this good cause,” he said while appreciating PDMA for organising the event.

Ayaz Director Operation and Coordination Rescue 1122 Dr Faheem Ahmad, Deputy Director Regional Meteorological Centre Peshawar and Ahmad Hussain, and Coordinator Volunteer Section Pakistan Red Crescent KP also addressed the audience.

Spokesperson PDMA said this campaign has been started to raise awareness among residents about the importance of taking precautionary measures during natural disasters.

“Our district DDMOs are also distributing posters and brochures amongst the people on the roads containing information about what to do during earthquake, landslides and other natural disasters,” he said.

This awareness campaign would provide people with information on safety precautions they can take during natural calamities.

This is a part of the PDMA comprehensive print and electronic media campaign to create awareness among the masses.

The ceremony concluded with prayers for the departed souls of the disaster victims and for the safety of Pakistan.