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22 March 2019

NDMA and UNDP arrange Earthquake Preparedness Workshop in Chitral

CHITRAL: An Orientation workshop on “Earthquake Safer Land Use Planning” was organized here in a local hotel. The sensitization workshop was arranged by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the auspices of “Earthquake Risk Reduction and Preparedness Programme” (ERRP).

 The sensitization workshop was conducted to raise awareness in the local administration on earthquake preparedness and risk reduction through safer land usage planning techniques.  ERRP in collaboration with National Engineering Services Pakistan Private Limited (NESPAK) is conducting a Seismic Hazard Microzonation in Chitral. The workshop aimed at orienting the local stakeholders i.e. the government authorities, NGOs and members of the community about the study and its importance in informed decision making on earthquake safer land use planning.    

 The workshop was formally launched by Miftah-ud-Din, Assistant Coordination officer(ACO) Chitral.  The workshop attracted participants from diverse backgrounds and expertise from a range of government departments and organizations. Experts from NESPAK and NDMA shared their knowledge and experience regarding earthquake risk assessments and Land use planning. The participants also shared the local experience and their valuable knowledge of the area with the experts in a feedback session. Karimullah welcomed the participants of the workshop. Taimoor Khan of NDMA conducted the introductory session of earthquake preparedness.  Amir Sohail of NESPAK briefed the participants regarding introduction to seismic microzonation. Sanaullah Khan of NDMA explained about earthquake safer designs & construction. The speakers said that Chitral is in red zone and prone to natural disasters. The people of the area consult with seismic experts before the construction of any larger building.  Addressing the occasion the ACO emphasized on the importance of preparedness in effective management of disasters. He thanked NDMA for conducting such an informative session and mobilizing the local government to understand the intricacies of natural disasters. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing an “Earthquake Risk Reduction and Preparedness Programme” (ERRP) in the Municipalities of Murree, Chitral, Quetta, Mansehra and Muzaffarabad. The project aims to promote and achieve earthquake resilience in the most vulnerable locations by conducting detailed earthquake risk assessment. The risk assessment is followed by action plan for earthquake risk mitigation, raising awareness, capacity building of local administration and members of civil society and by implementing pilot demonstrational activities on safer construction practices. Capacity development of local government authorities and institutions is the main priority under this project.  Experts said that thousands of children were died in 2005 earthquake in government schools and hospitals due to substandard quality of work and no proper supervision of construction process. Chitral city is located at the core of a regional anticlinorium’s and in a red zone. All buildings need to be constructed keeping in view the potential hazards. Analysis of peak Ground Acceleration and seismic factors is of pivotal importance to keep in mind while constructing a building.  Gh Farooqui has contributed to this story from Chitral, Pakistan