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Disaster Management – Why is it important?

The whole nation stands by the victims of the ill-fated PIA’s PK-661 flightthat crashed on Wednesday evening while heading to Islamabad.

We live in the 21st century, witnessing a fast paced technological advancement and no one can deny the fact that technology has made our lives much easier but it is a matter of great concern that the overall number of disasters have also increased while we move forward towards modernity.

According to a study called, The Role of Media and Media Hypes conducted in 2005, it was found out that the rate of disasters have increased with the introduction of new technology. The statistical data reveals that during the years 1970-1979, 1,230 disasters were reported, in 1980s the figure rose to 2856, in the 1990s it further increased to 4,790 but during 2000-2003 (only three years) at least 3,000 disasters took place. These statistics include both natural and man-made disasters.

Coming back to the air crash, as per the latest reports, the DNA testing for body identification is underway at PIMS hospital but what is disappointing to see that we do not learn any lesson from any disaster.

In developed countries, there are strict disaster management policies because for them, a crisis or a disaster is a decisive momenta time of great of great difficulty that can turn the destiny of an area so for them disaster management polices remain an integral part of their government planning as it helps them undertake rescue operations with the help of trained personnel,provide relief measures to the victims, conduct rehabilitation and settlement programmes which include construction of schools, hospitals and other infrastructure facilities, coordinate with other relevant departments like donor agencies to obtain funds and other resources to overcome a disaster and finally to take pre-emptive actions to avert a disaster or to minimise losses.

Even though Pakistan has a department called National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) but it is unfortunate that there is nothing much we can talk about them as disasters including floods, air crashes and fires occur each year.

It was unfortunate to see that the authorities arrived late at the crash site and the local villagers had to use sand bags to control the fire. Even in the case of Regent Plaza fire, the authorities claim that the hotel had no ‘fire exit’ or fire alarm.

These are just examples from the recent disasters that have taken place in the country. Only if our government had paid attention on proper disaster management policies and on their implementation then either these disasters could have been averted or the loss could have been minimised.

Source: Daily Times

Byline: Khabeer ul Tanwir

December 12, 2016

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