• Sat / 11 May 2019 / 15:31
  • Category: Social
  • News Code: 98022111076
  • Journalist : 71477

Climate change or daily management; flood crisis factor

سیل خوزستان

Tehran (ISNA) - The head of the Environmental Committee of the Expediency Discernment Council considers the isolated functioning of the governmental bodies a factor in increasing the damage caused by the flood and said, "In the country's management system, these bodies are segmented and do not want to work together".

The high rainfall in the last days of March and the first half of April this year left Iran with an unpleasant New Year start, and unfortunately, there were a great many deaths along with financial loss. From those very days, officials and experts have spoken about the different aspects of the flood and the causes of the recent destruction from the recent event. Meanwhile, Mohammad Mojabi, in an interview with ISNA, in addition to commenting on the causes of floods and arbitration, explained the performance of various governmental bodies in this regard, proposing a strategy to compensate for and avoid future probability of such events.

In response to the question of how destructive Iran's global warming disaster has been in the wake of the devastating catastrophe in Iran, Majidi said, "To provide a detailed overview of the main causes of flooding during the last month, we should wait for the results of the National Flood Committee's review and studies. Of course, if we were to accept it is part of the recent global climate changes and a result of global warming and the phenomenon of climate change, one cannot deny the role of other factors. We agree that the rainfall in March was very high compared to the long-term average, but we must admit that we did not act accurately in the management of the issue. As an example, diet failure has contributed to the increase in erosion”.

Climate change or management weakness

"Unfortunately, because of the many droughts in recent years, some people have come to the conclusion that there will not be any overwhelming flood conditions," he said. “For this reason, permitted or unauthorized construction was allowed around the rivers, and as a result, the damage caused by the flood became more severe. Another reason for the increase in recent flood damage is the lack of attention to water management plans that, if executed over the past years, could have had a huge impact on reducing the amount of harm. In any case, we need to make predictions in the management system, especially as a large number of cities are located on steep slopes and should be considered for flood risk.”

The head of the Environmental Committee of the Expediency Discernment Council stressed the need to plan for the potential risks of the country, stating, “The hazards of different areas must be identified and the effects of natural phenomena, such as floods and earthquakes, should be minimized with planning. In the current state of flood in the country, and because of the damage it has caused, has become a major issue for the people and the government. We must deal with the situation at hand and with precise planning and ongoing implementation, we are trying to reduce the risks it poses”.

A proposal to reduce the damage of the flood

In response to the question of what suggestions have been proposed to reduce the risks of floods, Mohammad Mojabi said, "After identifying the natural hazards of each city and explaining the situation of cities in terms of potential risks, they should be categorized. Furthermore, the standards and guidelines for creating settlements must be defined, and the existing status of the cities in accordance with these standards should be improved to make the cities sustainable. In my opinion, it is mandatory to maintain the sustainability of cities in this process, although in the present circumstances, due to natural disasters, sustainability levels have dropped in cities and we have not followed the principles of sustainability”.

According to him, all governmental and non-governmental organizations should play a role in monitoring the cities. Municipalities, as public non-governmental organizations, are responsible for urban development and management. The ministries of roads and urban development, interior and energy, and even the Department of Environment should identify the situation of each city along with its hazards and participate in its development.

The country's administrative system is routine

Pointing to the need to reform the settlements according to the standards, the former head of the Environmental Department said, “Unfortunately, often in the management system, attention is paid only to day-to-day issues, while plans for watershed management which play a major role in reducing flood damage, could have been done over the years and at a low cost. At present, however, the flood left tens of thousands of tomans in damages in a few hours and days. Unfortunately, dealing with these issues is usually delayed, and this itself has led to crises like the recent flood”.

"Regrettably, in many cases, studies are only library based, and, in implementing development projects, we do not make those studies practical," Mojabi said, criticizing the non-technical functioning of the governmental bodies. “First of all, the studies should be done accurately for any development project, and they should be in line with project implementation and not be left as mere studies”.

If there had been spatial planning, there would have been no need for water transfer

He also pointed out the necessity of implementing territorial planning for all areas of the country and planning for development. "If the land had been prepared, the need for water in arid areas would not be so high that we would seek to transfer water from another ecosystem. Instead,  by understanding the potential and crises in the area, we would have better managed the situation and as a result of these conditions, the path of development would have coincided with the ecological system of the region,” he stated.

The head of the Environmental Committee of the Expediency Discernment Council emphasized that there is a great problem in the country's management system both at the level of governmental bodies and at the level of the regions. "The various governmental bodies don’t work together; instead they each deal with the issues separately. That is why, when the Environmental Protection Department finds a problem in implementing a project, the project manager considers the objection to be a mismanagement, not as a matter of necessity. To solve the problem at a macro-level, there needs to be policy-making at higher levels, he said. “Each organization needs to accept full responsibility over its own area, and should not blame other governmental bodies when a problem occurs in their section”.

Regulation of the general policy of the system for watershed management

Recalling that we need to integrate the function of governmental bodies through meaningful and massive policy making, Mojabi said, “It is interesting to note that in the overall policy of the system in the field of the environment as proclaimed by the Supreme Leader in 2015. Article 7 of the 15 main policies refers to climate change and the need to address its negative effects. The use of runoff water, the development of an aquifer, and watershed management have also been emphasized in other articles. For the implementation of these sections of the overall policy of the system in the Fifth and Sixth Development Plans of the country, other assignments have been given for watershed management”.

He also responded to questions about the positive aspects of the recent floods in the country. “Although the rainfall during March and April this year left a lot of devastation and resulted in the death of a number of our compatriots, which was very bitter, it led to sympathy for our fellow Iranian citizens and strengthened social capital. In addition, due to the floods and heavy rainfall, many wetlands that had been left thirsty for many years because of low water abundance were watered and now nearly 80 percent of the country's wetlands are saturated. In the current situation, it is also necessary to properly monitor and manage the wetlands in accordance with the existing laws, including the law of conservation and restoration of wetlands and the necessity of determining and guaranteeing the quality of the wetlands, in order to ensure the recovery path for the wetlands”.

Floods have not undone the effects of drought

The head of the Environmental Committee of the Expediency Discernment Council stressed, "Despite the heavy rainfall and recent floods, we should not forget that Iran is a dry and semi-arid country and is still suffering from low water levels and drought. As a result, half of the country's plains are in a state of danger, and many have subsided. Therefore, despite the water of the current year, the drought remains a major problem for our country”.

At the end, Mojabi said, "Given the massive damage of recent floods and its effects, especially on women and children, it is necessary to take into account the experiences of the various countries that have dealt with this issue as well as international institutions such as the United Nations Universal Habitat Program. Additionally, the UN-Habitat studies, which focus on housing in the United Nations, also used a corrective action plan to mitigate damages and disasters in the settlements”.

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