Speakers sympathizes bereaved family members of 2005 earthquake

F.P Report

PESHAWAR: Expressing grief with bereaved family members of October 08, 2005 earthquake martyrs, the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) on Tuesday observed “National Disaster Awareness Day” aimed at showing solidarity with heirs of affected families.

The day was commemorated by PDMA in collaboration with Pakistan Humanitarian Organization (PHF) at Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Museum Hall, University of Peshawar. The aim of event was to express solidarity with the bereaved families who lost their family members in earthquake to arouse the spirit of individual and group enrichment to face the challenges in the post disaster scenario.

PDMA Director Relief, Abdul Basit, Director General FDMA Siraj Ul Haq, Professor Dr. Noor Jahan Director CDBM University of Peshawar, Representative from Pakistan Army TDP secretariat, world bank, United nation humanitarian organization along with representatives from 50 INGO/NGOs were present on this occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Relief PDMA, Mr. Abdul Basit, said that the 2005 earthquake, badly affected the northern parts of the province and that Muzaffarabad was the hardest hit area mainly because of the epicenter of earthquake was just 19 kilometers (12 miles) to its northeast.

About the catastrophic quake, he informed that PMDA was observing day in memory of 74,000 people martyred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. PDMA has established Disaster Risk Management Strategic Unit, which would work on risk assessment studies, surveys, capacity building and advocacy.

The PDMA also intends to involve all stakeholders, particularly organizations with extensive experience in disaster risk management, to make disaster resilient Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he added. He stated that risk and uncertainties are increasing in the region due to climate change, greater frequency of extreme events, warmer temperature and increased incidence of temperature influenced disaster and pests. He said, today many people of our Pakistan are living in earthquake and disaster prone communities and many live in communities at risks from cyclone and other extreme weather events.

Prof Dr. Noor Jahan, Director CDPM University of Peshawar said they could not prevent natural disasters but they could reduce the losses through DRR. As a nation we need to take the ownership and should ready for any volunteer work. She said Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, UOP conducts regular trainings.

She further said that the centre was established with the vision to equip human beings with the knowledge and skills to minimize the damages and miseries of disasters and CDPM is functioning in a right direction in achieving its goals. PDMA is doing wonderful job with Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management (CDPM) and we are ready for partnerships with every one for this good cause.

She said, the CDPM under the capacity building objective is working on launching a community outreach program in the near future Insha’Allah. So, through this new approach, every student will conduct three mandatory awareness sessions at various schools and communities across the province on different aspect of disaster preparedness and management, she added.

The Ceremony concluded with prayers for the departed souls of disaster victims and safety of Pakistan.