Brief Overview of Disaster Management System in Pakistan

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

In oct-2005, the 7.8 magnitudes of earthquake occurred in Kashmir and northern areas that jolted the whole nation. The hazard caused approx. 100000 people die, thousands of injuries, and made millions of people homeless (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, 2006 ). The catastrophe brings the nation on a crucial stage and caught the eye of global humanitarians including civil society, NGOs, and IGOs for mitigating the effects and saving livelihood, immediately. It was realized that Pakistan is way prone to natural disasters, and there must be a proper mechanism to overcome the vulnerability for future disastrous events.

The next year, National Disaster Management Ordinance was promulgated which became the foundational rock of the first integrated disaster management system. However, due to the political instability between 2007 – 2009, the more permanent and functional system could not be formed till the next catastrophe “flood of 2010” not occurred. Thus, the National Disaster Management Act, 2010 act was passed by the assembly and created a fully integrated and permanent disaster management system. Under this act, the National Disaster management commission (NDMC) was formed which is the apex body for policy approval, plan formulation, agenda-setting, and making National plans. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) acts as the subordinated and executive arm for policy framework, planning, and, coordination. After the 18th amendment, the mandate is in the hands of provinces for dealing with the issues like disasters and calamities. The Provisional disaster management commission (PDMC) and authority (PDMA) enable the National Plan formulated by the NDMA and approved by the NDMC. District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) are the working body for implementing the plan on the district level.

The Disaster Management Act doesn’t restrict the purview to the state machinery, but also it allows civil society to play an important role in risk mitigation and preparedness. For example, it is mandatory, according to act, to include the representatives of civil society as a stakeholder in (NDMC). In a nutshell, disaster management is an integrated mechanism that allows federal and provisional government, ministries, departments, UN agencies, and NGOs for coping up with disasters issues collectively.