Humans have failed to coexist with nature while having a deep grasp of it. For no other reason than they have been attempting to seize it, and all such actions are sure to end in tragedy. Just think about this. If an earthquake occurs in a mountainous area where no one lives and there is no infrastructure, or if floodwaters inundate a desert where no one lives, there won’t be any damage. The majority of disaster specialists concur that a disaster occurs when danger collides with a vulnerability. Therefore, one may claim that losses are not only the result of the rain. Vulnerabilities have been produced by bad governance or a lack of governance. The vulnerability of human settlements was only made apparent by the rain.

The PATTAN organisation conducted a study following the 1997 floods to learn about flood-related losses in Sargodha and Muzaffargarh. Surprisingly, there was a negative correlation between losses and flooding intensity. Losses were three times higher in Sargodha than in Muzaffargarh, where the degree of water was far lower. Land usage and population density were the key determinants. More than 90% of the river Jhelum’s riverbanks were planted with crops in Sargodha, compared to only 30% in Muzaffargarh. Similar to Muzaffargarh, Sargodha’s riverine zone had a greater population density. The water would be captured by building a canal parallel to the river Jhelum’s left bank. Due to the majority of it being stuck in low-lying places, the floodwater, despite its enormous velocity, cannot return to the river. Subsequent calamities result from this in the form of illnesses or epidemics. Even though we are aware of regions that are susceptible to drought and earthquakes, we have frequently failed to manage calamities.

The two exclusionary behaviors listed below appear to be the causes of Pakistan’s frequent natural disasters: Two issues with development planning are 1) the exclusion of disaster-prone populations from decision-making and execution; and 2) the lack of coherence. I’d also include the incapacity of civil society to hold negligent government officials and ruling parties accountable.

The 52-country Views from the Frontline research were just completed by the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR). It was the biggest impartial assessment of local disaster risk reduction (DRR) ever conducted. It is intended to improve the participation of at-risk individuals, civil society, and the government in the design and application of practices and policies to lower risks and boost resilience. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both advocate an inclusive, “people-centered” approach to resilience-building, and both measures also develop a local baseline and local monitoring method to track progress in this direction.

Also Read: The Uniqueness of the Current Political Movement

In Pakistan, PATTAN performed research between 2019 and 2020 that included interviews with more than 1,700 households, 150 NGOs, and 150 members of the local government in 15 districts around the nation. Flooding, followed by earthquakes, epidemics, droughts, pollution, and heavy rains, was named Pakistan’s six most destructive and common catastrophes by the respondents (who live in disaster-prone areas). It’s interesting to note that many respondents also considered inequality and poverty as catastrophes. More than 90% of disaster-prone communities claimed that they had never been contacted or included in the planning, implementation, or evaluation of catastrophe risk by state agencies. This constitutes negligence under the law.

According to the study, the national average for the percentage of disabled people is lower in disaster-prone regions. For instance, it’s important to take into account the fact that one in five respondents stated they had impaired family members and 37% said they had chronically ill relatives. More than one-third of those affected by catastrophes were likely to claim that they significantly increased economic losses. A similar number of people were inclined to feel that full rehabilitation and recovery were not conceivable, and nearly half of the respondents thought that disaster-related losses had multiplied recently.

Only 16 per cent of respondents said the government assisted catastrophes, compared to 31 to 34 per cent who cited friends or family and NGOs or religious organisations, respectively. NGOs and early social networks play important roles both during and after catastrophes. Therefore, it might be said that the state hasn’t handled calamities well. Many of PATTAN’s study’s conclusions are supported by the recent surge of urban and rural floods.

The research is also intended to evaluate the engagement and participation of vulnerable groups in risk assessment, planning, and execution as well as their understanding of the environment and DRR policies and programmes. As many as 97 per cent of respondents reported that they were unaware of DRR policy and strategies, which is contrary to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) Act 2010 and plan. Most locals attributed poor implementation and disaster management to powerful and dishonest governmental authorities in their area.


Even if there has been a 400% increase in rainfall this year compared to last, the scale of the disasters has not changed. The state’s laws and regulations regulating the participation of marginalized and disadvantaged women and men in disaster-risk planning and execution have continued to be broken despite numerous catastrophes. Our catastrophe governance, which is terrible governance, is evident in the absence of empowered local governments; ineffective and corrupt local disaster management organizations; and lifeless national and provincial disaster management commissions.

There is no organised demand coming from any organised forum. As a result of their networks’ reluctance to adopt a pro-people stance and hold government figures accountable, NGOs appear to have lost their moral fiber. Accountability has become a catchphrase with no real significance. What should then be done?
First, develop a catastrophic narrative focused on governance and vulnerability rather than blaming nature. Demand that “DRR and inclusive-risk-governance” be included in each political party’s platform. Third, integrate the NDMA Act with local ordinances and establish minimum requirements in light of Article 140A of Pakistan’s Constitution. Fourth, put pressure on governments to enact laws requiring community and female participation in decision-making and implementation structures and procedures. As the fifth step, it is to establish DRR committees at all tiers of the local government organisation. To build community resilience in disaster-prone areas by providing regular training and education. Improve student sensitivity in the seventh grade through educational materials and exercises. Build a solid platform for the expression of the needs of the most vulnerable groups and establish connections between rural and urban networks and social organisations.

Finally, sanity must prevail. For instance, everyone is aware that certain months are prone to flooding and that these months are also when glaciers melt most quickly. Additionally, we are aware of the paths taken by torrents and floods. Why don’t the authorities take action in advance if we are aware of everything beforehand? They cannot use nature as an excuse for their criminal irresponsibility. People must be included in disaster risk reduction efforts to lessen the effects of disasters.

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