Since 2013, the UN has integrated disaster risk reduction (DRR) into Millennium Development Goals. Pakistan’s People Led Disaster Management (PPLDM) is formed in 2015 to strengthen both international and national level effort in this regard by creating communities within Pakistan that are equipped to reduce the risk of potential disasters through self-help.We believe the greatest motivation to manage disasters lies with those who are most vulnerable to them. PPLDM harnesses this motivation by providing people tool for self-help. Our tool is knowledge. Disseminating knowledge that helps communities all over Pakistan manage their disaster vulnerabilities lies at the heart of PPLDM’s effort.
Existence of vulnerable communities in remote areas that are not easily accessible due to poor infrastructure demands that disaster risk reduction knowledge, and disaster survival skills, are known to ordinary people in addition to the officials responsible for managing disasters. Governmental help is slow to reach remote areas and sometimes fails to reach at all. The scale of suffering caused by a natural disaster in such areas can be greatly mitigated if communities are cognizant of the risk they face and are taught skills that help them survive.
Disaster management in Pakistan, as indeed the world over, consists primarily of collecting money, buying goods and sending relief to disaster stricken areas. Governments and humanitarian organizations jump into action after a large scale disaster occurs and try to manage its impact by whatever material resource they are able to deploy during the calamity. Post facto relief, raised at whatever level, would go a long way towards amelioration of people’s lot if vulnerable communities are given disaster management skills before disasters strike them. Thus empowered, those impacted by a disaster do not just wait for aid. They inform the relief agencies as to the kind of help needed and instruct in ways of supplying the same. Knowledge based Inter active disaster management thus creates happier societies and builds healthier nations.
As a common practice, the structures of disaster management are created to empower those individuals who are least vulnerable to disasters, i.e., officers of the state. Government offices are situated in areas equipped with better amenities. Sitting in comfortable offices, disaster management officers get “news” of disasters striking communities in far off places and mobilize their resources to respond. More often than not, due to limited resources, their ability to help those suddenly caught in the midst of disaster is constrained.
As the saying goes, give a man fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. PPLDM believes if you teach humans how to fish and conserve seafood, you nurture not only humankind but also the environment. We apply this philosophy to disaster management. Since the issue at the heart of our movement is teaching ourselves how to both fish and conserve seafood, we try to find the solutions to the problems of disaster risk reduction by not only taking vulnerable communities on board but by also requesting state authorities to create enabling environment in the form of regulatory frameworks. PPLDM holds sensitization meetings with legislators at all levels, in all provinces. We provide guidance in formulating regulatory frameworks that promote disaster risk reduction all over Pakistan.
PPLDM acquires knowledge of potential disasters through intensive scientific research and extensive field work. `We advocate structural and cognitive transformation of our existence because climate change necessitates change in ways of living.
PPLDM came into being to promote such change.