Årets monsun har allerede sluppet sine første tunge regndråber og krævet mindst 26 liv i det nordlige Pakistan – nu rejser spørgsmålet sig, om landet har forberedt sig godt nok.
ISLAMABAD, 28 August 2012 (IRIN): “This year we had handed over responsibility for disaster management chiefly to the provinces, so that things could be handled quickly and efficiently at the local level”.
“Funds were also released and some 300 persons trained to deal with various situations,” Ahmed Kamal, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), told IRIN.
A consultant who helped draw up the disaster management plan for the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Punjab (who preferred anonymity) said an elaborate system had been put in place to manage any crisis, but that implementation was “the task of local administrations and officials”.
The worst affected areas were Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province (KP), Kashmir, and some parts of Punjab Province.
“This is essentially a problem of poor governance, rather than resources,” economic analyst Sikander Lodhi told IRIN. He also said a tendency to “simply hope for the best” rather than make plans affected the manner in which things were handled.
“This seems to be a kind of cultural trait, and affects things like fund allocations and their timings. Rather than preparing for the possibility of disaster, government departments prefer to hang on to money until disaster actually strikes,” he said.
Local people interviewed by IRIN tended to agree. Nawaz Khan, whose house was damaged by the latest floods, told IRIN from his village near Mansehra town: “Such disasters happen again and again. We receive no warnings, and generally very little help.
It has been the same story in previous years, and there has been no difference at all this year. It just shows how little the government cares about us.”
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