(Current rain spell likely to continue till Friday: Chairman Flood Commission)

ISLAMABAD:Chairman Federal Flood Commission Ahmed Kamal has said the current rain spell as forecast by Met Office is likely to remain in different areas of Pakistan till August 19.

Speaking in a Radio Pakistan’s program, he said the rain spell will be active in different areas of Balochistan, Sindh, Islamabad, Rawalpindi Division in Punjab and Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu divisions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said water flow could rise in Indus River due to hill torrents. He said situation needs to be monitored 24/7 till August 20.

Ahmed Kamal said three weather systems are impacting Pakistan at the moment. One is Westerly wave system that comes from Mediterranean, second is seasonal low from Arabian Sea and third is Monsoon low from Bay of Bengal. He said these systems are more concentrated in parts of Sindh and Balochistan due to low pressure there that attracts moisture from clouds, leading to precipitation.

The Federal Flood Commission Chairman said role of the Commission is to improve early warning systems. He said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) are providing relief to the people affected by rains and floods in Sindh and Balochistan.

He said floods have damaged mostly unpaved houses and a few small dams in Balochistan. He said Pakistan in particular, and the region in general is in grip of climate change. He said we need to deal with issues of climate change, disaster management and flood risk at the priority.

He emphasized the need to increase forestry in the country as trees have been proven to stop pressure of flood water. He said we also need to develop rainwater harvesting systems at different sites in urban areas to not only conserve water but also manage it to reduce the risk of flooding.

Ahmed Kamal said we also need to enhance our national water storage that currently stands for 30 days only. He said small dams are important as well as large dams to meet the water needs of growing population.