Pakistan: Second flood protection sector project
1. Flooding is a major problem in Pakistan and is most extensive and damaging in the Indus Plain. Damage also occurs in areas along small rivers with relatively steep catchments causing flash floods. Major flood events result from excessive flows within the Indus River basin, including the Indus itself and main tributaries, namely the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Kabul rivers. It is one of the largest river systems in the world and provides irrigation water to about 12 million hectares, representing 80 percent of Pakistan's irrigated land. Melting snow from the mountains combined with monsoon rains (generally from July to September) cause heavy flooding and riverbank erosion. Floods have resulted in loss of life and substantial damage to property, infrastructure and agriculture. Serious flooding also leads to dislocation of entire communities, disrupting the life and productive activities of thousands of households. In many cases, the poorest segment of society suffers the greatest damage as a single flood can wipe out their limited possessions, including houses, livestock and small farms, which are their only source of livelihood.
2. Flood hazards and riverbank erosion that adversely affect human settlements, infrastructure and farming areas have to be minimized so that Pakistan's predominantly rural communities in flood-prone areas can sustain increases in agricultural production, employment and incomes. The predominance of low-income families among rural communities provided strong justification for the Project. The major objective of the Project was to reduce damage due to flooding to the communities along Pakistan's major and secondary rivers. A secondary objective was to reduce the level of poverty in these areas.
3. The Project consisted of three components: (i) policy improvement and capacity building for planning, design and implementation of flood protection works; (ii) improvement of flood forecasting, warning and preparedness; and (iii) implementation of subprojects for flood protection works. (1) The policy improvement and capacity building component comprised various studies, trainings, consulting services and support to communities in flood preparedness and relief. The forecasting component included completion of a flood forecasting model and an early warning system initiated under the first flood protection sector project,(2) extension of radar coverage, expansion of the telemetry network and the HF radio communication network modernized under the first project, meteorological studies, and reassessment of the Mangla Dam reservoir operation. Implementation of subprojects included one core subproject in each of four provinces (Balochistan, North-West Frontier, Punjab and Sindh). Other subprojects were to be identified along stretches of the major and secondary rivers including hill torrents.
(1) ADB. 1997. Report and Recommendation of the President to the Board of Directors on a Proposed Loan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for Second Flood Protection Sector Project. Manila.
(2) Loan No. 837-PAK(SF): Flood Protection Sector Project, for $115.0 million, approved 25 August 1987.
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