Measures for Flood Mitigation

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THE current floods have inflicted damage on a large scale. Apart from claiming hundreds of lives, damage to the properties and infrastructure have crossed what we witnessed back in 2010, really indicating that our federal and provincial governments and relevant authorities did not learn anything from the past to mitigate the impact of calamities.

During a visit to flood affected areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan very rightly pointed out that the country is in dire need of dams to offset flood losses.

During his tenure, work on about ten dams was started and, at present. nobody knows the status of those projects but any negligence to them will be criminal in nature.

There is a dire need to ramp up work on those projects as well as initiate construction of more water reservoirs including Kalabagh Dam but after developing consensus with all the provinces in order to avert the situation what we are faced with today.

It is unfortunate that Pakistan on the one hand is a water scarce country which according to studies may run dry in the next few years but on the other hand we are wasting water received through rains during monsoon season.

If we had a good number of water reservoirs, we would have sufficient water not only to irrigate large swathes of barren land but also be well poised to avoid human and property losses due to floods.

It is for our government to think on these lines to secure the future of this country. Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change whilst its contribution to global emissions is reported to be less than one percent.

Hence greater responsibility rests with the developed capitals which are the major polluters to financially support countries like Pakistan in constructing dams and other climate resilient infrastructure.

Besides restricting development in flood plain zones, our focus should remain on protecting forests and natural resources to reduce flood risks.

The mega plantation campaign initiated by the previous government must be taken forward. We have to reduce flood threats by working with nature rather than fighting it.

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