The unpredictability of our climate means that we can face a variety of problems, including flooding, water scarcity and drought, landslides and earthquakes. However, such natural disasters are something that can be prepared for, these disasters are not as unwieldy as they seem.

A joint study conducted by Al-Khidmat Foundation and Riphah International University has concluded that Pakistan needs to establish fully equipped disaster risk management units at a district level if it is to cope with the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

The recent occurrences of devastating flash floods and Glacial Lake Outbursts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and crippling drought in Tharparker, and coastal intrusion in Sindh shows that it has become increasingly important to set up disaster management units at all 105 districts of the country. Not only do these units need to be equipped with the tools necessary to provide timely relief to the affected, but also trained personnel, who act with coordination with all concerned authorities in the face of a disaster. Currently only 5 districts out of the 105 had conducted multiple hazards, vulnerability, and risk assessments, and the absence of data from the rest of the country, makes disaster risk reduction planning very difficult.

Currently in Pakistan, only 4 out of the 177 institutions are running Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)- and Disaster Risk Management (DRM)-related educational programmes, and in order to create trained individuals, the government must invest in human resources. Strengthening early warning and forecasting systems for floods and cyclones are absolutely key in working towards DRR in Pakistan.

The country has been prone to natural disasters and these studies cannot be ignored by the government or by the public. At least 1 percent budget allocation for climate change adaptation in fiscal year 2017-2018, while 50 percent of the allocated funds should be spent on mapping and assessment-related research and development.