ISLAMABAD : Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Affairs, Naeem Ul Haq has said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was committed for developing disaster resilient cities and infrastructure.
The SAPM expressed his resolve while speaking as chief guest in a public ceremony held at F-9 Park held under the auspices of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in connection with ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’.
He stressed that as part of its long term planning, the PTI government was working on creating resilient infrastructures and mechanisms to cope up with entire spectrum of disasters.
Naeem Ul Haq highlighted the importance of community awareness and involvement as an essential component of Disaster Risk Mitigation, and applauded the efforts of NDMA for engaging communities by observing ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’ as an open event to general public.
In his welcome address, chairman NDMA, Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat said that Pakistan, being a most disaster prone country, had endured more than its fair share of disasters from floods, earthquakes, droughts and landslides during the last two decades.
He acknowledged and appreciated the assistance rendered by international community to Pakistan during past disasters and said that to align itself with the aspirations of international community, from this year onwards NDMA had decided to observe 13th October as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction.”
While emphasizing the importance of proactive disaster management he said, “Old reactionary and response oriented disaster management is being replaced with more engaging approach of disaster risk reduction and preemptive mitigation”. Chairman NDMA also thanked UN Agencies and other development partners, for their active support in NDMA’s endeavors to build a ‘Resilient Pakistan’.
Earlier Member Operations NDMA Brig Mukhtar Ahmed dilated upon the aim and objective of the celebrating 13th October as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction. He also briefed the participant on various activities that were designed for the Day. He appreciated that general public participated in the event in large number and said that it was a reflection and a hope for prosperous future and disaster resilient Pakistan.
NDMA at the occasion arranged a variety of activities to engage children, youth, civil society and people from all walks of life to educate them about potential hazards and challenges and measures to mitigate the disaster risks.
The activities included, plantation of saplings, signing the pledge wall with the theme ‘we pledge for a disaster resilient Pakistan, and short walk in F-9 Park. A flag march of USAR teams and Fire Fighting Vehicles starting from Jinnah Convention Center and culminating at Fatima Jinnah Park. People from different walks of life also participated in Flag March.
A cyclothon comprising of over 50 cyclists also marched through the major roads of the city, to mark the day, highlighting the importance preparedness for disasters. Gender and Child Cell (GCC) of NDMA under Pakistan School Safety Programme (PSSF) arranged a drawing festival, in which various government and private schools from Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated.
This year NDMA joined hands with International Community to observe October 13 as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction. Earlier, 8th October was commemorated as ‘National Resilience Day’ to pay homage to martyrs and to express solidarity with the survivors past disasters.