Pakistan Flood Crisis and Disaster Management

Pakistan Flood Crisis and Disaster Management by Shamyl|Chowrangi

            Family members remove furnishings from their flood affected home  in Nowshera, Pakistan.

            Photograph by: Daniel Berehulak, Getty Images

Interventions are needed after a disaster occurs. In many ways, this is the most difficult period for the victims. Disaster management requires commitment by the various role players. Therefore, capacity must be build to handle such events and training programs are essential. Duplication of efforts should be minimized and financial resources properly controlled. It should be important to note that disasters are non-routine events that require non-routine response. Government couldn’t rely on normal procedures to implement appropriate responses. They will need to learn special skills, techniques, and attitudes in dealing with the disasters. They will need a policy based on action plans rather than having the policy first. Pakistan needs leaders who can work with people where things happen rather than working with a safe remote control effort.

If this does not happen then people will develop further mistrust in the civilian government which is not good if the desire for democracy is to be cherished and strengthened. Democracy must appear to work; civilian institutions must appear efficient. Democracy will fail once again if the civilian administration does not cater to all needs of the citizens.

The only need of the time is proper management of the relief funds and for this the government assured has that Pakistan will ensure complete transparency in the utilization of funds raised for the flood victims. However, fund accounts to be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction must be made available to all donors for scrutiny. Such transparency could be assured through the availability of data to be subjected to external auditing.

Reconstruction of the devastated areas will be a long drawn out process. However, we need to develop a strategy of self-reliance rather than keep looking for continued international assistance in this respect. That is likely to dry up with the passing of time. Incidentally, some of us seem to think that it is the duty of the world to help us in such a calamity. This is not a justifiable expectation and merely created unnecessary disappointment. There is no such duty and we should no take the generosity of the international community for granted.