National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) organized Pre-Monsoon 2017 Preparedness Conference. It was aimed at reviewing preparatory efforts put in place at a federal/provincial level for impending monsoon and to harmonize all related provincial and departmental plans with respect to flood fighting, rescue, relief and post-flood rehabilitation.

The conference was chaired by NDMA Chairperson Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat. Senior representatives of various Federal Ministries including Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Water & Power, Ministry of Railways. Officials from WAPDA, Provincial Irrigation Departments, Director Generals of Disaster Management Authorities of all four provinces, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA, representatives of Armed Forces, CDA, NESPAK, SUPARCO, Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC), UN agencies, Pakistan Boys Scouts Association, Pakistan Girls Guide Association and all other relevant Provincial & Federal Departments participated in the meeting.

PMD forecasted the likelihood of normal rainfall in the month of July while less than normal rainfall in the months of August and September while presenting Monsoon Outlook of 2017. However, some extreme localized rainfall events are likely to occur which may generate localized folds flash flooding in mountainous regions of KPK, AJK, and Gilgit-Baltistan. Some heavy downpour events may produce urban flooding in big cities. Some strong incursions of monsoon currents, coupled with high temperature, may trigger GLOF, landslides and flash floods in upper KP and GB.

FFC presented province wise vulnerable points needing special attention, policy for dam management, NHA shared progress on preparatory efforts undertaken for various National Highways with a focus on KKH, Gilgit-Skardu Road, Dir-Chitral Road, Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad Road, Mansehra-Naran Road. Pakistan Army Engineers Directorate apprised the participants about Army’s preparedness measures to support the civil administration. UNOCHA shared resource capacities of UN agencies across Pakistan coordination mechanism.

Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed, Member Operations NDMA presented the salient of National Monsoon Contingency Response Directive-2017. Shortfalls and impediments based on past experiences were also highlighted for improvement during coming monsoon season. Four Contingency Scenarios have been visualized by NDMA based on the pre-monsoon forecast issued by Pakistan Metrological Department.

The responsibility Matrix was also presented which defined the role of each department i.e. Federal Flood Commission, Provincial Irrigation Department is primarily responsible for Riverine, Flash Flood management while municipal corporations/city development authorities/district governments are responsible for urban flood management.

NDMA/PDMA and all other Line Departments/ Organizations are responsible for flood fighting, rescue, relief, reconstruction & rehabilitation operations within respective domain. Armed forces are to be called for an emergency response in Aid of Civil Administration as per Contingency Plans.

NDMA chairperson while thanking all participants hoped that NDMA’s Response Directive will provide guidance to all Disaster Management Authorities and relevant stakeholders for execution of respective contingency plans.