Lahore: Media Foundation 360, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, organized a three-day consultative session entitled ‘Flood Preparedness and Response Plan for Punjab Province’ from December 14-16, 2023. Disaster management experts, along with representatives from government, media, and civil society, shared their views on a comprehensive plan to counter floods effectively throughout Punjab province.
Addressing the participants, U.S. Consul General in Lahore Kristin Hawkins noted the United States’ strong support for disaster preparedness and response efforts in Pakistan, including through more than $215 million in assistance provided in response to the devastating 2022 floods. “When a disaster strikes, it requires a whole-of-community effort and it’s great to see participants from government, civil society, and the media working together on a comprehensive approach,” CG Hawkins said.
This workshop is part of the United States’ ongoing partnership with Pakistan through the “Green Alliance” framework. The United States and Pakistan are working together to combat the effects of climate change, increase climate-smart agriculture, improve water management, and promote clean energy. All of these efforts will help to ensure more sustainable and inclusive economic growth for Pakistan.
Dr. Dale Cressman, who has covered disasters in the United States as a journalist, presented an overview of the significant disasters that led to changes in policies and approaches in the United States. Dr. Cressman also reviewed flooding in Punjab and discussed technological and natural solutions to mitigate the impact of floods on land, human lives, property, and livestock. Environmentalist Ahmad Rafay Alam talked about the destruction caused by climate change and discussed several solutions to reduce greenhouse gas impact. He said, “We have to double our efforts to protect the environment, otherwise Pakistan may face more flooding.”
National Disaster Management Authority’s former trainer and consultant Ameera Javeria, Former Director General PDMA Faisal Farid and PDMA’s officials from Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Taunsa also shared their thoughts. The participants worked together as a group to develop a guiding plan which will be shared with federal and provincial governments.