Strategy being devised to permanently avoid widespread flash flood losses in Karachi: Chairman NDMA


 ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP): Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Let Gen Muhammad Afzal Sunday said two pronged strategy has been devised in collaboration with the stake holders to avoid flash flood losses in Karachi permanently.  Talking to Media persons, he said working on a short term strategy would be started from Monday to mitigate flash flood losses up to optimum level during next two to three wet spells expected in August and September.  Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) would start cleansing main nullahs from Monday and local corps of Pakistan Army has also been tasked to work for giving relief to the people from flash floods. The work would be started on Monday to mitigate sufferings of people. NDMA will provide all possible assistance.

He said efforts have already been started to evolve a long term solution to mitigate the woes of Karachiites by taking all stake holders including federal, provincial, local governments, etc for a permanent solution of overflowing nullahs and roads. “We should give relief to people with joint collaborated efforts. The flash flood losses would remain in check during August and September rains. Afterwards permanent solution would be in place for getting rid of flash floods.”

He said encroachments are abound around most of the nullahs of Karachi. The widths of most of the nullahs have been narrowed from 400 meters to three to four meters. He said Karachi produces over 20,000 tonnes solid waste per day. This solid waste has become a source of bane as comparing to other countries where solid waste is utilized for producing electricity.  The water has already receded on roads of metropolitan city, he said adding that according to Pakistan Meteorological department predictions the weather will remain dry in Karachi in next six days.

The next wet spell will start from August 7 and last till August 10. Another one or two days spell is expected from August 15, however the expectations of rain were 40 percent.
Yet another spell would be from 24 to 26. The chances of rain will be 60 to 65 percent.
Responding to a question, he said due to prudent measures taken the situation of Covid -19 has improved. The number of deaths has become lowest.  He urged adherence to standard operating procedure (SOPs) for containing the Covid-19 pandemic.  He fears that the situation may worsen in Muharram-ul-Haram, if SOPs were not followed. He said the government has added 3,000 oxygenated beds and sufficient quantity of ventilators were also in godown. NDMA has over 700,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in stock. Some 141 laboratories have the facility of Covid testing.

Preparations were complete to cope with the onslaught of desert locust, nine spray planes, 250,000 pesticides were in stocks.  Provinces have also build capacity to cope with the fresh influx of desert locust. NDMA will have 388 sprayers on August 20 as comparing to only 14 right now.