PESHAWAR -  A joint study conducted by Al-Khidmat Foundation and Riphah International University concluded that Pakistan needed establishment of fully-equipped disaster risk management units at district level to reduce possible impacts of environmental degradation, climate change and natural disasters.

“The environmental degradation and climate change has increased likelihood and intensity of natural hazards in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and rest of the country”, the report added. It recommended setting up disaster management units at all 105 districts of the country, adding that each unit should be fully equipped with trained people and autonomous in implementing guidelines envisaged under National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Act 2010.

The study was carried out on district Peshawar in collaboration with NDMA, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and City District Government Peshawar. The study revealed that currently, only 5 districts out of the 105 had conducted multiple hazards, vulnerability, and risk assessments. Thus, in the prevailing situation, the disaster risk reduction planning and indexation at district level was a question mark.

The study suggested that the disaster management units at district level would help in effectively assessing potential risks and hazards. For the purpose, each unit must have separate office instead of the virtual department run by a nominee of the deputy commissioner on ad-hoc basis, the study emphasised. It recommended for inclusion of special needs of women and children as well as people with physical disabilities while designing disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans. It said DRR plans were a must to enhance government’s capacity to reduce disaster risk at national, provincial and district levels, and to develop a pragmatic approach in this regard.

Moreover, the report said currently in Pakistan, only 4 out of the 177 institutions recognised by Higher Education Commission were running DRR- and Disaster Risk Management (DRM)-related educational programmes. Therefore, government, private sector endowments, philanthropists and donor organisations need to come forward and contribute in bridging the gap, the study stressed.

World Disaster Report 2016 stated that the impact of recorded disaster events in marginalised and vulnerable communities had resulted in over US$840 billion of financial losses. However, over the same period, only 0.4 per cent of the US$3.3 trillion spent on aid was dedicated to prevention or risk reduction while the situation was much deteriorating as far as Pakistan, the developing world and the least developed countries are concerned.

The study recommended at least 1 per cent budget allocation for climate change adaptation in fiscal year 2017-2018, while 50 per cent of the same needed to be spent on mapping and assessment-related research and development. Apart from that, all forums, networks and clusters in the developmental sector need to work closely for evolving and formulating strategies, the study stated.

The research study stressed that all projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) needed to carry out prior environmental assessments and hazard mapping according to NDMA’s National DRR Policy 2013 with effective DRR plans all across CPEC routes.

IGP ALL PRAISE FOR POLICE FORCE

Inspector General of Police Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Nasir Khan Durrani on Sunday said police performed tremendously during the prevailing security challenges.

He said this while speaking at police darbar in D.I. Khan. He said the sacrifices offered by police cops for security of the state and protection of life, honour and property of the general public would go a long way in the annals of police history.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) added that during the last three and a half years he tried his best to improve performance of police and make it an effective force to come up to the expectations of the people.

He said he felt proud that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police had won hearts and minds of the people through its outstanding performance and that the fact was equally being appreciated at national and international level.

The IGP claimed that KP police served with a zeal and spirit and demonstrated professional commitment during the ongoing challenges. He hoped that the force would keep high standards of policing in the province and would continue ensuring protection to the life, honour and property of the general public.

On the occasion, the IGP distributed cash prizes and commendation certificates amongst the cops who demonstrated excellent performance against terrorists and other criminals from time to time in different actions.

Later, the IGP held a meeting with local elites, elected representatives and senior officers of different line departments. The local elders appreciated police reforms introduced by the IGP during the last 3 and half years and the force achievements against the outlaws.

The elders said the gap between public and police reduced to a great extent due to the revolutionary steps introduced by the IGP. They also appreciated actions taken against the black sheep in the force and making the force more answerable to public.

The IGP commended their unstinted support with the police in every difficult time and their positive role for eradicating anti-state elements. Durrani thanked the people of D.I. Khan and hoped that they would keep continue their support to local police for maintenance of law and order in the area.