September 23, 2023

Gen Bajwa floats idea of delayed-action dams, drainage systems, prefab housing to mitigate climate change disaster

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa while suggesting a blueprint for ‘climate-proof’ future said on Saturday that Pakistan needed a long-term plan which includes “delayed action dams and water drainage system” to mitigate the impacts of disasters caused by climate change.

The army chief made these remarks while visiting the flood-affected areas of Dadu, a district of Sindh most parts of which are currently under eight feet of water.

“We will need to build more mega dams in Pakistan. I cannot say anything about the location of these dams. In Swat, we will need to build dams as well…to control [the flow of] water”, as they produce clean energy and reduce pollution, he said.

Gen Bajwa said after the super floods in 2010, a strategy was prepared to deal with riverine floods, and added that the administration was not ready for the abnormal rainfall which had wreaked havoc along both banks of the Indus River.

He said that for mitigating the challenges on the west bank of the Indus River, the country will need to come up with a long-term strategy because.

The army chief said in order to secure the west bank of the Indus, an initial study has been conducted by the army and a report will be presented in a meeting of the prime minister and chief ministers next week, he said, adding that international experts will also help in this process.

Administrator USAID meets Gen Bajwa 

COAS Gen Bajwa visits far flong flood affected areas in Sindh

Speaking about rescue operations across the country, the army chief Manchar and Hamal lakes, which are 100km away from each other, have joined. In other areas, rescue operations are over…[but] we are still busy in rescue and relief tasks,” Gen Bajwa said while talking about the situation in Dadu.

The army chief also floated the idea of building prefab houses to rehabilitate the people. A house costs Rs0.5 million and an entire village comprising 50-100 two-bedroom units could be set up in days, he said, adding that the village could be set up on higher ground in Sindh or Balochistan.