February 1st and 2nd 2015, Peshawar: The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in close collaboration with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (APDC) and Community Resilience Initiative (CRI), held a two-days’ workshop to build the capacity and support the Government at the National and Provincial level under the “Supporting Government in developing more synergized, cohesive, and inclusive disaster risk management policies” Project.
Mr. Amer Afaq, Director General for PDMA Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, attended as Chief Guest and inaugurated this capacity building workshop which focused on the Multi-Hazard Vulnerability Risk Assessment done in two districts, Chitral and D.I. Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Experts from the government, academia and humanitarian sector attended the event and discussed the challenges pertaining to improved DRM policies, various assessment tools including remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) and their use and importance in disaster management, as well as participated in group discussions and activities leading to valuable suggestions to improve DRM policies.
Mr. Amer Afaq, while addressing the participants said that, “This is a very important exercise for us; we need proper and updated information regarding our area’s vulnerability to both natural and man-made disasters. One dollar spent today for preparedness (assessments) can save us 10 dollars tomorrow for response. I request each district’s administration and line departments to coordinate and facilitate the implementing partners to make this initiative successful as it is going to help us become disaster resilient.”
Ms. Bella Evidente, Country Programme Manager, UN-Habitat Pakistan, commenting in relation to the discussion at the workshop said that, “UN-Habitat is pleased to provide technical advisory support to the provincial Government through PDMA in strengthening the policy and planning process at provincial and district levels. The investment in good quality assessment pays back during the master planning and improvement of socio-economic conditions of the area. UN-Habitat is proud to be working closely with the Government of KP for a cohesive and inclusive policy advice and support.” Ms. Sumera Izhar and Mr. Asad ur Rehman of UN-Habitat, Dr. Shafique, Dr. Amir Khan, Mr. Asif Khan, Dr. Anwar Saeed Khan, and Mr. Naveed of CRI imparted valuable information regarding the project’s process, results, and findings and gave suggestions to scale-up the benefits at the National and Provincial level. Notables from other districts and communities from divisional headquarters (Abbottabad, Swat, Mardan, Kohat, and Bannu) did not only actively participate in the discussions but also provided valuable contributions and suggestions from their experience.
The Multi-Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessments were carried out in Chitral and D.I. Khan with the involvement of the government, academic, and science-based institutions. Local/community engagement and participation during project implementation was a significant component allowing the grassroots expertise to be consulted to the maximum extent possible. Dissemination of information and transfer of knowledge to relevant National, Provincial, and District officials were undertaken along with defining roles and responsibilities to facilitate effective coordination among all stakeholders in increasing resilience in these districts and successfully manage repeated disasters.