‘Early warning system vital to reduce disaster devastation’

CHITRAL: Speakers at a workshop here termed the early warning system (EWS) inevitable for the disaster-prone areas of Chitral to save the targeted population from the devastation caused by natural disasters by giving them ample time to move to safer places.

The speakers put forward valuable suggestions regarding EWS and disaster management with reference to the local environment.

They said in recent years hundreds of families were timely warned about the impending glacial lake outburst floods and flash floods in the villages of Golen, Reshun, Gohkir, Sonoghur and Laspur, as a result, the scale of human loss was negligible as the people shifted to safer places.

They noted that disasters could not be stopped from occurrence by human efforts but their devastations could be mitigated by taking appropriate measures in advance, which included making the susceptible people resilient to the disaster.

They said a close coordination between different government bodies and civil society organisations must be established before the disasters struck so the rescue and rehabilitation could be timely started in a designed manner.

On the occasion, assistant commissioner, Chitral, Abdul Wali Khan said the local administration had set up district disaster management body to tackle the issues emanating from natural disasters, which had become quite frequent due to climate change phenomenon and the peculiar geography of the area. He said the knowledge of local people needed to be integrated into disaster management strategy.

Earlier, the area coordinator of ACTED, Nigah Hussain, briefed the participants that the organisation was engaged in Chitral since the devastating floods of 2015 and had rehabilitated various projects of roads, drinking water and irrigation hit by the disasters, while also building shelter homes for those rendered homeless.–Zahiruddin

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