Almost 3 weeks since heavy flooding -Pakistan immediately needs an emergency flood relief policy
Concerns are being raised as regards credibility as well as competency of the government to manage the flood disaster. Although, government should not solely be blamed, as the calamity is exceedingly large to be handled by the state alone. Albeit, bearing in mind the magnanimity of Pak nation on such occasions, this attribute should be capitalized to its optimum level. However, unexpectedly, since mass motivation is not observed because of known reasons, different and organized strategy needs to be adopted this time. Solution is easy.
Government should immediately make public Short-term & long-term relief plans. After initial acute management of flood victims, which perhaps would be done in a month or so, there should be a well-mapped long-term management strategy. Political parties should engage technocrats rather than dumb MP, s for better policymaking. A policy on paper was never as crucial as it is now! BTW, our politicians have 64 yr old expertise in fashioning policies (minus implementation), hence seems like an easiest task for them!
Shortterm Management incorporates basic utilities like temporary shelters, food, clean water, & medicines for outbreaks. State and army should manage this. They should use their own resources & whatever international donors have donated so far to PM,CM funds. UNHCR, s is already helping.
Long-term management would include rehabilitation like building houses, providing a source of income (cattles for most & other alternatives). Sufferers would be needing homes before winter – Their, the government should slot in public & NGO,s. They can engage public on basis of “adopt a family “fashion.
Collecting data of affected families will not be that demanding and must be processed immediately. State can use NADRA record, Benazir income support record, also last years IDP,s registrations etc to gather data. Most of the sufferers belong to the poorest soceo-economic class of Pakistan. Once the record is compiled, the state should make an appeal to the public to “adopt a family” for a particular period until they are sheltered. Likewise, On larger scale NGO,s can adopt a village or town . Therefore, people can donate based on trust & feasibility. I believe this time people will come forward and donate in person, once the water recedes & rains stop. This is rational, and should be channelized in an organized manner by the state.
This will entail less fund management on part of the government and will improve transparency. In long-term management state can limit its responsibility mainly to building basic infrastructure like bridges, damaged canals, barrages, dams etc.& leave rehab to general public & NGO,s.
In addition, Since Ramadan is on and at this point of time, it is virtually impossible for the government to manage timely, two time meals (without making them rancid) on such a huge scale and this is creating more frustration among the public. Religious Scholars should come forward and make a combined consensus regarding fasting in the affected areas.
This time, contrary to the earthquake2005, & Swat IDP,s, management seems distinctive because touchwood, number of deaths are far less compared to the colossal area that’s involved. But, financial loss is magnanimous, superimposed by distrust created by governments massive corruption concerning fund handling over years. Hence, exceptional measures will have to be embraced. Meanwhile donate!
Posted @ ProPakistan