KARACHI: Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan on Wednesday said that a comprehensive awareness campaign was needed to inform masses about the precautionary measures against possible heat- waves so as to avoid loss of precious human lives. Labourers and commuters must be given preference in this regard as 90% of deaths from heat-wave last years were reported on city roads.
This he said while speaking at 4th National Monsoon Forum and Heat- Waves awareness workshop here.
Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Dr Ghulam Rasul, Expert from Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) Thailand Ms Ruby Rose and Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj Gen (R) Asghar Nawaz were also present on the occasion.
He said that last year´s killer heat-wave is still in the memory of Karachiites due to which many precious human lives were lost. This year we have already experienced unprecedented hot weather in February and recently during the last week of April, while there is a forecast of hot and dry weather and also severe monsoon in coming summer which may result in urban flooding in Karachi, he observed.
Governor said that no one can fight or stop natural disasters but with better preparedness we can minimize the losses to a great extent. The role of media in informing the masses about the precautionary measures is very crucial as it can teach and guide the people in a convincing way, he added.
He said it was commendable that the PMD is working in collaboration with RIMES and has also chalked out a comprehensive strategy in this regard, which is also being coordinated by Heath Department, KMC and K-Electric. The establishment of Early Warning System Centre in Karachi by PMD is also a welcome step in right direction, he added.
While commending the participation of all stakeholder in awareness campaign, Governor Sindh hoped that this workshop would serve as a plat form for formulating a viable strategy in this regard. Through brainstorming sessions, the participants from DRM agencies, climate experts, journalists, and other stake holders would be able to constitute an effective mechanism to cope with such disasters, he opined.
Deliberating on the threat of urban flooding due to severe monsoon forecast, Governor asked all concerned departments to be well prepared for this threat. He also lauded the establishment of heat wave protection camps from administration of Karachi and KMC.