As heavy rains are predicted to hit different parts of the country, specifically Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the KP provincial Disaster Management Authority (DMA) has issued flood warnings in all districts and demanded that necessary steps be taken to protect the people against the disastrous impact of possible flash floods, that ravaged the areas in July 2015. Even though flood-warning cells are being set up in every district, and advancement has been made in establishing early warning system for flooding in KP, will this flood season be significantly different than the last? Time will surely tell.

Last year officials of KP and Fata’s Disaster Management Authority and departments concerned were directed to remain fully alert and monitor the flood and rivers' situation round-the-clock in the provinces as the flood warning was issued, much like it is now. Why then was there a large loss of life and such devastation in the area if monitoring was carried out efficiently and warnings were disseminated well before time?

The main reason was the infrastructure that rendered ineffective in the face of such devastating flash flooding. Has the KP government ensured that the rehabilitated flood affectees of last year were provided with flood resistant housing and infrastructure to withstand future events? It is highly unlikely.

While political will is apparent in the KP government to become better prepared to withstand future events, efforts must be stepped up to improve infrastructure and emergency responses in the likelihood of loss and devastation. Setting up early warning systems are a crucial and integral part of flood loss prevention but implementation of effective evacuation and contingency planning is harder said than done. Disaster Management is a resource intensive operation one that cannot be effectively carried out with the centre’s support and allocation of appropriate amount of funding.