Flood planning in Pakistan: Where is the money going?

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Blackwater, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Hundreds of people in Pakistan have died as a result of monsoon rains and consequential flooding. The latest toll stands at 346. Close to 200 of these come from Punjab, and close to 80 from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

    The worst is over now, as rescue missions continue relief work. But for as long as it lasted and for all the damage done, the federal government declared the floods a “national emergency.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended help. Funds will be poured into humanitarian aid.

    A sense of déjà vu seems to encompass the whole scenario; well, maybe apart from the bit about Modi.

    How many times has Pakistan experienced a catastrophe of a similar nature?

    To recap briefly, the 2010 floods killed more than 2000 people, going on to become one of the year’s most devastating disasters internationally. Flooding in 2011 took more than 300 lives, while in 2012 more than a hundred people were killed; not to mention the loss of property, belongings and displacement which accompanies flooding every year.

    Look through: Flood's aftermath in Srinagar: Picking up the pieces

    This is not the first time that monsoon is accompanied by abundant tragedy, nor the first time that the central government has announced monetary compensations for the affected.

    But could the problem be how the money is being spent, and not how much of it is being spent?

    Just today, there is a news report of Gujranwala's flood-affected residents blocking GT Road in protest of non-payment of relief compensation announced by Chief Minister Punjab.

    The loss of life this year is caused by predominantly similar factors as in the past: flooding and heavy rains cause roof and housing collapses, electrocution, and drowning.

    One wonders that if such a natural disaster is an annual occurrence, how hard can it be to take the necessary precautions beforehand?

    As always, the central government and the army chief have vowed to spare no expense to rescue the situation, and the offer for international aid is on the table. But none of this is really new.

    Also read: To dam or not to dam? Pakistan experts ponder flood strategy

    After the 2011 floods, which predominantly impacted Sindh, the provincial government’s appeal for help resulted in humanitarian aid from US and Japan. But it isn’t money that the government’s efforts are lacking, it is innovation and fore planning.

    To give credit where it is due, teams have reportedly rescued more than 50,000 people. But the encumbrance of burden that falls on the rescuers is tenfold when there is nothing on the ground that makes their task easier.

    In the ensuing chaos, three soldiers were reported missing. Innovation is needed to fill this gap.

    For the second episode of their Rebel Architecture series, Al Jazeera followed Pakistan’s first female architect Yasmeen Lari as she ventured into flood affected villages in Sindh.

    Lari explained that much of the loss of life and damage to property can be prevented, because although floods can't be prevented, it is possible to construct homes that are better resistant.

    Read on: Floods: govts don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan

    It came as both a surprise and a relief to discover that Pakistan not only has the soft skills to construct safe abodes for people who live in the eye of the storm, but also the building techniques and materials to ensure cheap construction.

    Be it houses elevated on bamboo stilts, or using lime as the mortar (it doesn’t erode during a flood, hence avoids collapsing) it is both possible and affordable.

    It is extremely crucial that the government now incorporate such ideas into their efforts, because if past mistakes are repeated during the rehabilitation process, then authorities will be staring down the barrel of this gun same time next year.

    Part of your brain may be crooning, ‘Houses on stilts? Waterproof housing? That sounds absurd!’

    No, it isn’t absurd. It’s radical, and it needs to be. Pakistan needs to take revolutionary steps if it hopes to survive.

    So, why not start by saving lives through any means necessary?


    Flood planning: Where is the money going? - Blogs - DAWN.COM
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    money is going to gazi army for gazwa-a-hind.

    yeah hatf 9 ase hi test nahi hoti
    :laugh::laugh:
     

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