Dealing with disaster and climate change: Exhibition focuses on damage limitation

As many as 54 stalls were on display during the eighth National Disaster Management Exhibition held at University of Peshawar on Wednesday. The two-day fair was organized by the Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management volunteer club in collaboration with PDMA-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, UNDP, ACF International (Action against Hunger), Handicap International, ActionAid and The NGO World Foundation in the lawns of the Sheikh Muhammad Taimur Academic Block.

UoP Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan inaugurated the exhibition. He was accompanied by Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences Dean Professor Dr Amir Nawaz Khan, PDMA Director Relief Mr. Abdul Basit, UNDP Pakistan Disaster Management Specialist Dr. Muhi Osama, The ACF Field Coordinator Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Director Operations Handicap International Mr. Waheed Shah.  The VC was briefed by representatives of various NGOs working on disaster management and climate change.

Addressing the ceremony, Jan said Pakistan was prone to natural and manmade disasters. He added it was imperative to equip trained disaster management professionals to ensure damage limitation. He said many organizations from the government and private sector were established to manage calamities after the devastating Kashmir earthquake in 2005. However, the lack of trained and skilled professionals meant ideal results could not be achieved. UoP therefore established the Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management to supply an adequate number of trained professionals to work in these organizations, the VC said.

The Vice Chancellor Said education should focus on dreams and hopes for the future to develop a strong economies and societies. The bridge connecting such education with dreams and hopes for the future is the social view and value that allows the promotion of career formation by utilizing the “fortitude to live” for subsequent education and for use in society. In this regard, the University of Peshawar contributes to the formation of mature community and society.

Jan said the university was working towards “education for peace” and will make every effort to achieve it. He appreciated the participation of the scores of national and foreign delegates in the exhibition. He said the occasion would provide a networking opportunity for them to liaison and benefit from each other’s experience.

The VC said we can’t live in isolation and neither can’t we rely on external help forever. Every one of us needs to learn about the risks and the mechanisms to mitigate and withstand the impacts. He appreciated the activities of the volunteer club of the CDPM. 

Professor Dr Amir Nawaz Khan said the centre was supplying 100 professionals to the field of disaster management every year.

The Director PDMA said that we are committed to achieve the goal of resilience Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and PDMA is trying their level best to deliver services to the downtrodden and vulnerable communities.

As many as 200 schools, 70 colleges and 30 varsities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were participating as visitors in the two-day exhibition.