Peshawar: The Provincial Disaster Management Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PDMA-KP, inaugurated the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre at PDMA Peshawar.
The inauguration ceremony was co-chaired by Mr Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Chief Minister KP and Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Pakistan. Mr. Douglas Hageman, Deputy Country Director UNDP and Mr. Shahzad Khan Bangash, DG, PDMA-KP were also present on the occasion.
The PEOC contains state-of-the-art communications tools and latest equipment including data storage to support early warning systems and enhance information management capacities in case of a disaster. The emergency centre would also ensure smooth flow of information between provinces and affected districts from the bottom-up before, during, and after a disaster.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hoti said, “contingency plan has been worked out and wishful objectives can be achieved through effective implementation on it.”
Ambassador Wigemark underlined the importance of the PEOCs. “The Centre inaugurated today will address risks associated in flood prone areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, enhancing flood preparedness and response mechanisms. Line agencies should ensure its maintenance and there are clear benefits for the local communities in areas often affected by natural calamities. The EU support to the PEOC is part of an overall contribution of Euro 15 million from the European Union to restore the capacities of government institutions and communities in the flood affected areas.”
UNDP Pakistan is collaborating with PDMA for the establishment of PEOCs across Pakistan with funding from the EU and the Government of Japan. Earlier, PEOCs in Punjab and Balochistan were setup. The PEOCs in Sindh, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan will also be launched soon.
Mr. Hageman appreciated the involvement of the PDMA and said, “The control room will serve as a hub of information collection and dissemination both during disasters and on a regular basis as well. Keeping in view the upcoming monsoons, the role of the control rooms in overall multi-sectoral coordination services cannot be understated.”