October 8 reminds us need for better preparedness against disasters: Shafqat Mehmood
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday said that October 08 reminded us of the need to ceaselessly work for better preparedness against natural disasters.
“We observe this day not only to pay homage to our people who unfortunately lost their lives in disasters, but also to those who relentlessly extended helping hand to the affectees,” he said while addressing the audience as the chief guest at an event held to commemorate the victims of the past disasters on the occasion of National Resilience Day here in Islamabad.
The grisly earthquake in 2005 with epicenter around Muzaffarabad left several dozen thousands people dead and as many injured.
While appreciating the Natural Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for renaming this day as National Resilience Day, Shafqat Mehmood said that people of Pakistan had braved recurring disasters over the past two decades with courage and fortitude.
“In this context 8th October is rightly renamed as National Resilience Day”, the minister continued.
Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat has highlighted that according to fiscal risk assessment study by the World Bank, Pakistan was losing 1.2 to 2 billion US dollars on the average to disasters annually and any disaster of mega magnitude in the future is likely to cost us around US dollars 15 billion.
He said that NDMA Pakistan since its inception had not only proved its worth by managing mega disasters but had also set direction right and had moved at an encouraging pace towards ensuring resilience of Pakistan.
The chairman NDMA emphasized that consolidation of legal and institutional structures within the system as already approved by the NDMC was essential for effective coordination in the time of emergency.
Later Idrees Mehsood, member DRR underscored main points of the project of micro level Multi – Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (MHVRA) undertaken by the NDMA.
MHVRA is a risk assessment of all districts to form part of Disaster Management Information System that will provide a common operating picture to all stakeholders.
Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed, Member (Operations) gave a presentation on coffee-table-book, ‘the Story- a Journey through Resilient Pakistan’ that was also launched on this occasion.
It was envisioned and developed to pay tribute to the resilient people of this nation, in the wake of natural and human-induced catastrophes.
It is an exhaustive compilation of NDMA’s notable efforts & immense contribution in disaster preparedness and response. Chief Guest distributed award among the representative of those partner organizations that helped Pakistan in hour of need.