An international workshop on flood risk mapping using spatial technology was recently jointly organised by Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), UNESCO and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The ceremony was inaugurated at COMSTECH Islamabad. Officials at SUPARCO believe that the organization has been foremost in the country for using satellite and space technologies for different purposes that has led to Pakistan’s socio-economic development.
SUPARCO has been involved in such projects as for land cover classification, disaster relief, glacier studies, agriculture, geology, land management, hydrology, meteorology, ecology and environment. SUPARCO has also been instrumental in dealing with such natural disasters as floods, especially their after effects. Furthermore, SUPARCO has undertaken such projects as flood inundation profiling, DNA reports for national and international agencies, estimation of crops damages by natural calamities and development of irrigation water channel record under national programme for enhancement of water courses.
Such government bodies are also involved as National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Office of the Indus Water Commissioner and academia at various levels from where the actual resource for research and ideas flow. With the help of UNESCO, a huge project has been undertaken for flood forecasting, flood early warning system and risk mapping of flood plains near the Indus River. The projects are underway since 2011.
More of such projects are expected to be started for proper utilization of the satellite technology. It is true that satellite technology in Pakistan has been influential in many other sectors too that have impacted people’s lives, including the internet and faster communication that it offers. Under Pakistan Space Vision 2040, all this must be achieved to make a socio-economically and technologically development Pakistan.