Govt’s collective wisdom helps manage massive flood-devastation

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The massive torrential rain floods in 2022 caused widespread devastation as the country’s almost one-third areas, mainly in Sindh and Balochistan, got submerged, fully grown crops washed away, and road infrastructure wiped out at a large scale leaving the flood-impacted regions completely inaccessible for days.

Despite limited resources and financial constraints, the coalition government, under the dynamic leadership of Shehbaz Sharif, exhibited collective wisdom that greatly helped save precious lives in the flood-affected areas and ensure timely relief and rehabilitation measures after the country started enduring unmatched monsoon downpours started in June this year where over six-month coordinated effort helped reaching out to the flood impacted awaiting help.

Without wasting any time, the government established the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC) comprising representatives of federal stakeholders, provincial governments and the Pakistan Armed Forces that oversaw the national response to the monsoon rains and floods.

In the provinces, the PDMAs established sector coordination mechanisms to ensure better response coordination in partnership with the humanitarian community. The coordination between humanitarian partners with the district disaster management authorities (DDMAs) evolved to allow for more timely and effective information sharing and strengthened district-level coordination. The severe monsoon weather caused extensive flooding and landslides casting grave impacts on human lives, property and infrastructure.

The government was leading the humanitarian response for people in the affected areas, supported by the UN and humanitarian partners. The floods have impacted some 33 million masses looking for assistance whereas the UN and the international humanitarian community intended to cover around 5.2 million people in Pakistan over the next six months under the 2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan.

Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman said the scale of the disaster was so big that for the first time the largest inland deployment of Pakistan Navy troops was made to drive rescue and relief efforts. Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Let’s not talk about pollyanna sustainable economics. First, we have to get those people on their feet.”

The Minister claimed that there was an unimaginable scale of loss and damage caused by unprecedented climate-induced floods in Pakistan. She underscored that the magnitude of calamity was beyond all previous climate disasters, affecting a population larger than the size of many countries.