Ahsan Iqbal vows to revive National Flood Protection Programme abandoned by PTI govt.

ISLAMABAD -- Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday expressed strong commitment to revive the National Flood Protection Programme, initiated by the PML-N government during its last tenure but abandoned by the PTI regime, to safeguard the country from future climate change-related disasters.

He was addressing the inaugural session of a workshop titled 'Flood Resilience in Pakistan: Reducing the Risk of Water-Related Disasters' here, organized by the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the Netherlands.

To tackle the confronted challenge of floods and protect the countrymen from climate-related disasters in future, the minister stressed the need for forging an international partnership to benefit from the technologies of developed countries like the Netherlands that shared its experience and knowledge to help Pakistan mitigate future disaster threats.

He hoped that the experts participating in the workshop would help prepare a road road-map under the framework of four 'Rs' (Resilient, Recovery, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation), which would ensure an adaptable infrastructure and the required capacity to avoid negative impacts of changing global weather patterns.

He appreciated the Netherlands government for helping Pakistan to face the challenge of climate change and its subsequent disasters in the water sector.

He recalled that in 2010 Pakistan faced a major flooding and in 2013 when Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) came into power, it immediately started to work out a National Flood Protection Plan with the assistance of experts from the Netherlands.

Accordingly, he said a study report was prepared and approved by the Council of Common Interests (CII), which identified all the potential sources/points where flooding could take place and suggested the required measures for infrastructure development to mitigate losses of possible future floods.

After approval of the study by the CII, he said the government had decided that over the next 10 years, the National Flood Protection Programme to be implemented in two phases with a total cost of around Rs340 billion, of which 50 per cent expense to be borne by the federal government and 50 per cent by provinces.


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