PMD, UNESCO promote coop on flood management

Abid says nation to face six to eight hours loadshedding this summer

Staff Reporter

Lahore—UNESCO in collaboration with the government of Japan and Pakistan Meteorological department (PMD), organized a two-day international workshop aimed at standardizing procedures for Transboundary Rivers in the context of flood forecasting, to strengthen the flood early warning system and management capacity of Pakistan here Tuesday.
The two-day international workshop is part of UNESCO’s ‘Strategic Strengthening of Flood Early Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan’ Project, phase-II which was launched in cooperation with the government of Japan in March 2015 last year. The first phase of the project was launched in July 2011 and completed in 2014 in response to the 2010 devastating flood.
Speaking on this occasion, the chief guest, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, commended the efforts of UNESCO, PMD and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He stressed the need to reduce damages from intense rains and flash floods, which would happen more fre-quently due to climate change.
Dr Shahbaz Khan, Director, UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in his remarks mentioned his profound gratitude to the government of Japan to continue its generous financial and technical support during the first and the second phase of the project.
He further said that through the Project, UNESCO in collaboration with its partners especially PMD, FFD, ICHARM, and JAXA would complete the integrated IFAS/RRI system and other water studies covering the whole Indus River Basin and the combined models could be utilized for flood forecasting and early warning for Pakistan.
He commended efforts of PMD to develop Automatic Weather Stations which would further help strengthen the network of rain gauges in Pakistan. Teppei Nakagawa, First Secretary, the Embassy of Japan said that like Pakistan, Japan was also disaster prone country and in this regard, Japanese experience was helping manage disaster risk reduction in Pakistan to decrease the damages.
Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan in her remarks highlighted that UNESCO took a role for promoting international cooperation on flood management among the neighbouring countries for example in the Indus River basin.
Dr Ghulam Rasool, Director General PMD in his welcome remarks said that technical capacity of PMD had increased in this project and now PMD engineers were able to develop state-of-the-art Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in Pakistan.
Hiromu INOUE, Representative of JICA said, ‘We are pleased that since last year JICA is working closely with UNESCO, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Afghan engineers will be trained in Pakistan, as part of this project.’
The two-day international conference is being attended by representatives from national and international partner organizations such as International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Japan Aero-space Exploration Agency – JAXA, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), Federal Flood Commission (FFD), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), universities, provincial irrigation departments and international experts from Australia, France, Indonesia, Korea and Japan and their expertise will further enhance river modelling and flood forecasting models for Indus and the Eastern rivers.
INP adds: Talking about power outages, the minister said that the people would have to bear at least six to eight hours long loadshedding during summers. However, he added that the government was trying to convince traders to shut shops at 8pm to conserve power for domestic customers.

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