CHITRAL-The Hasho Foundation organised a seminar to observe International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction at its main office in Balach here the other day.

AKRSP manager Sajjad Ahmed was chief guest on the occasion while Citizen Community Development Network chairman Ghafoor Baig was the guest of honour.

HF representative M Khalid briefed the participants about their work on disaster risk management. He said that the HF was a knowledge based organisation which worked in six sectors, adding that disaster risk management was one of the main components of their programs.

He said that the HF trained men and women on disaster risk management that how toll rate could be reduced in case of any natural calamity.

He said that the HF created awareness among the youth, and in this connection it had been working in 24 villages on community based disaster risk management.

Prof Ajmal Saeed, who teaches environmental science in Commerce College, said that a subject on environment and disaster reduction must be taught in every class up to secondary level.

Rescue 1122 officer Zafar Ahmed briefed the participants about the emergency services of the rescue in the area, and requesting the people do not waste their time in making prank calls to the rescue office.

He said that Rescue 1122 could be called through telephone or a mobile phone in case of any emergency.

“It provides services to all the members of the community.” He said, “We can’t stop disaster, but we can reduce its losses.”

Nigah Hussain Khan Deputy Area Coordinator of ACTED said: “We should play our role in disaster reduction, and for this purpose we should train and educate all segments of society.”

Sajjad Ahmed said that civil society organizations could train and educate people in disaster risk reduction, but this was responsibility of the state to implement such policy in which public faced lesser loss in case of any natural calamity or disaster. Ghafoor Baig talked about disaster from an Islamic point of view that each disaster was caused by human deeds.

Nizam Ali said: “We should go one step ahead and only awareness is not a solution to the problems, but we will have to focus on sensitisation. If we sensitise about the loss or risk of any plan, we will adopt such measurement where we face less loss.

For this purpose we should play a vital role, and to save the nation from any mega loss.” A journalist also raised the question that mostly the floods and other disasters were caused by deforestation, adding that if the government supplied electricity free of cost or at least on subsidised rates to power consumers in Chitral they would use it for heating and cooking purpose and it would discourage deforestation. A large number of people participated in the seminar.