SZABIST - Diploma in Disaster Risk Management (In Collaboration with ERRA)




Historical Background
Nature has blessed Pakistan's northern regions and Kashmir valley with striking landscapes of lofty snow clad peaks, sparkling glaciers, lush green meadows, breathtaking valleys, roaring rivers, silvery lakes, garrulous waterfalls, thickly wooded forests, flowers of unbelievable hues and awe inspiring mountain passes. All these combined, make the north of Pakistan, a paradise on earth. It was the morning of October 8, 2005, the fury of the nature that shook the calmness and tranquility of the serene north of Pakistan, brought anguish and woes to the lives of over 3.5 million souls. The earthquake caused massive loss of precious lives as well as livelihood to the victims, while dipping all essential facilities and infrastructure to dust and debris. The Government and people of Pakistan as well as the international community responded in an unprecedented manner to this tragic calamity. The relief activity began, right after the rescue efforts, wherein the Government and people of Pakistan, humanitarian organisations and international community participated enthusiastically to restore life in the affected areas. In a mere six months time, by March 31, 2006, the relentless efforts of the nation, and international community culminated in successful completion of relief and recovery phase that was followed by reconstruction and rehabilitation activities, which are still going on.

Establishment of ERRA
The Government of Pakistan established the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) on October 24, 2005 to take up the mammoth task of rebuilding in the earthquake affected regions spread over 30,000 square kilometers of nine districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and AJ&K. The nucleus staff of ERRA comprises a hybrid of civil servants, armed forces personnel and international consultants. ERRA’s prime task is to strategize and approve projects together with the provision of funds to SERRA and PERRA to undertake the reconstruction and rehabilitation works in their respective areas. The idea behind the creation of ERRA was to bring all efforts and activities, pertaining to post disaster damage assessment, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the affected areas under one umbrella, with a view to providing a fast track and seismically safe reconstruction regimes and solutions.

ERRA’s mission is to “Convert this Adversity into an Opportunity” by reconstructing the lost and destroyed facilities, while following highest standards of reconstruction and rehabilitation with the obligation to “Build Back Better”.

Mandate and Role
Main role of ERRA is macro planning, developing sectoral strategies, financing, project approval and monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, it ensures the required coordination and provides facilitation to implementing partners, whereas physical implementation of the projects is the responsibility of respective governments.

Scope of Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
ERRA has intervened in 12 different sectors, 3 cross-cutting programmes, and is required to reconstruct over 13,000 projects, (at a cost of over US $ 5 billion) located over more than 30,000 esq. of nine districts of AJ&K and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Policy Planning
A comprehensive consultative process is followed, while formulating the policies. All the major donor organisations, whose funds are involved in the reconstruction programmes, are consulted before conceiving a policy. The draft policies are discussed with the representatives of both the governments i.e. Government of AJ&K and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and subsequently placed before the ERRA Board and/or ERRA Council for the final decision.

Policy Role of Provincial and State Governments
Besides policy formulation, ERRA has restricted its role to developing sectoral strategies, project approval, financing, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the reconstruction activities in the affected areas. The implementation of the approved strategies is governed through a devolved mechanism with maximum powers resting with the Provincial/State and District governments. At the Province and State level, both the governments have created Provincial Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (PERRA) and State Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (SERRA), respectively. They act as Secretariats for the Provincial/State Steering Committees. These committees are headed by the respective Chief Secretaries with representation of secretaries of all the relevant line departments and a representative of the Planning Wing of ERRA. These forums have the mandate to approve the Annual Work Plans of their respective governments received by them from each of the affected districts. They have the financial powers to approve any reconstruction project costing up to Rs.250 million. The basic mandate of implementation of all reconstruction projects rests with these forums.

Role of District Governments
The Provincial and State Governments have created District Reconstruction Units (DRUs) in each of the affected districts. These DRUs act as Secretariat to the District Reconstruction Advisory Committee (DRAC), which is headed by the District Nazim in each district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Deputy Commissioner in AJ&K with representation of all the relevant line departments of the district and elected representatives. Each DRAC has the powers to approve projects up to Rs.100 million and prioritize the reconstruction activities as per their needs and requirements. They develop the Annual Work Plan and submit the same to PERRA/SERRA, as the case may be.

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