Peshawar, 24 September 2020: A number of flood protection initiatives
completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last 5 years (2015-20) at a
total cost of PKR 15,024 million have mitigated the effects of floods as
evident during the recent torrential rain which did not cause much
damage. This was stated in “a brief report on the Government of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa’s flood protection infrastructure projects to mitigate the
effects of monsoon floods during August - September 2020”, prepared by
the Planning and Development Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The report further states that many projects including construction of flood protection walls, improvement of drainage systems, rehabilitation of canal roads and flood protection works have been completed in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Furthermore, the implementation of the first phase of the National Flood Protection Plan, construction of flood protection embankment from Kheshki village to Motorway bridge at Kabul River and flood protection arrangement along the left bank of Indus River in Dera Ismail Khan are some of the noteworthy ongoing projects that are contributing to mitigating the adverse impact of floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the report, bridges are one of the key components of flood risk management. The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has either initiated or completed a total of 36 bridge projects of different specifications (reinforced cement concrete, steel, etc.) in different parts of the province including Battagram, Charsadda Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Kohistan, Malakand, Mardan, Nowshera, Peshawar and the Merged Areas at a total cost of PKR 25,146 Million. These bridge structures along with the allied infrastructure such as rehabilitation of roads, building of causeways and construction of irrigation channels have contributed to thwart floods during this year monsoon season.
The climate variability caused by growing population, increasing urbanisation and decreasing forest cover have added to the frequency of flooding hazards in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards has recently completed the flood vulnerability assessment carried out in the flood-prone areas of Peshawar. The study has recommended that building flood-resilient infrastructure can substantially reduce vulnerability and increase capacity of the authorities and communities to cope with floods in the future. Responding to the emergent threats of global warming including floods especially during the annual monsoon season, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is funding a combination of green and gray infrastructure projects under its Annual Development Programme on a consistent basis.