In the presence of the Chief Minister Punjab, H.E. Shahbaz Sharif, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, European Union H.E Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Command, Control and Communication Centre at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab was inaugurated today.
This is part of a broader effort towards the institutional development and capacity building for Disaster Risk Management of various PDMAs, which is spear headed by the NDMA Chairman. The Centre has been established under the One UN Disaster Risk Management Programme which is an umbrella programme to support the national efforts to reduce vulnerabilities, prevent and mitigate the disaster risks and conduct effective response and recovery operations once a disaster strikes at all levels including the federal, provincial, district and community levels.
The Centre will provide the much needed coordination and centralized command mechanism for PDMA through which key mobile units including the police control room, 1122 control room, Railway Headquarters and District Commissioner’s office in Lahore will be connected through a VHF network. This facility will also extend to all districts in Punjab through mobile squads and will facilitate a coordinated response in the event of a disaster.
The Control Room is equipped to deal with multiple disasters that may occur throughout the year. It has representatives from PDMA, Metrological& Irrigation Departments, Federal & Provincial Flood Commissions, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters and HQs 4 Corps Engineers, Army among others to ensure that key stakeholders are on board and communications channels are fully functional when a disaster strikes.
“The EU is proud to contribute to a project that aims at saving lives in case of natural disaster. Lessons learnt from 2010 and 2011 devastating flood give all more sense to this collective demarche. This Command and Control Center showcases a striking combination of modern technologies and high professional skills that will allow us better anticipate future challenges.” said Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, EU.
Further reiterating the importance of this initiative, Mr. Khalid Sherdil DG PDMA, Punjab said, ‘The Centre is part of a comprehensive programme for formulating disaster risk management policies and plans in the province and will support PDMA as the implementing, coordinating and monitoring body for disaster management in Punjab’
Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Country Director, appreciated the support of the international community, “I am pleased to witness the results of our joint efforts in establishing a control and communication mechanism effectively connecting the people with disaster management institutions in Punjab. The European Union has been an important partner for UNDP over the years and supports an absolutely vital element of responding to disasters”, he said.
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Mehreen Saeed, Communication Analyst, Head Communications Unit, UNDP Pakistan 4rth Floor Serena Office Complex, Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: +92-51-8355650 , Cell 0300 535 8225 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.undp.org.pk
Ayesha Babar Press and PR Officer, Delegation of the EU to Pakistan Tel: +92-51-2271828 , Cell 03335755530 Email: Ayesha.Babar@eeas.europa.eu Website: www.delpak.ec.europa.eu