KARACHI: The Ministry of Climate Change and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have jointly issued precautionary measures for all stakeholders in the wake of an expected dry spell of weather, resulting in any probable drought like condition in 2017.According to a document made available to Daily Times, the NDMA predicts that the country may face drought like conditions in upcoming months since the lack of adequate rainfall has opened the doors for a potential disaster in several areas. The Pakistan Metrological Department’s (PMD) seasonal outlook for December 2016-January 2017 with the subject less than long term average rain and snow expected during December 2016-Jnauary 2017 states that severe El-Nino of 2015-16, although settled to normal in early summer, has caused a raise in temperature leading to 2016 being the warmest year.Currently, border-line La Nina conditions prevail in the pacific which is the cooling phase of ocean. The Indian Ocean dipole is also in a neutral state. Global climatic conditions and output of different forecasting models suggest that the effectiveness of western disturbances was weak in December 2016 and shall remain weaker in January 2017 for the South Asian region including Pakistan, the NDMA’s document added.Therefore, a few westerly waves reached central parts of Pakistan rousting in below normal rainfall/snowfall during December 2016. The situation is likely to relatively improve in January 2017 and near normal rainfall/snowfall is expected. Fog /smog with variable intensity prevailed in Punjab and KP during December and is likely to prevail in January 2017 while the day temperature is likely to remain slightly higher than normal during the period due to less than normal expected precipitation.Surface and ground water resources may experience further depletion while water management authorities and users may have to observe extreme care, the NDMA warned. The ministry has proposed precautionary measures for all stakeholders during preparedness /mitigation phases against any probable drought like condition.Proposing precautionary measures to PMD, the NDMA states that the probability of likely drought conditions through monitoring of drought indictors is to be closely monitored by PMD in collaboration with SUPARCO. Any abnormal variation from the normal weather pattern is to be immediately reported by the PMD.The NDMA requested the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to review requisite prior planning for national food security and sustainability in the country. Necessary instructions related to the agriculture and livestock sector may kindly be issued to relevant stakeholders. If required, all federal and provincial stakeholders must be told to remain vigilant. The Ministry of Water and Power should ensure prudent regulation of major water reservoirs on the basis of PMD’s advisories. National Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Network shall do Contingency planning forthwith to manage all health-related aspects during potential drought like conditions in collaboration with provincial Health Departments, NDMA proposed.“Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) and district officials shall closely monitor drought indicators on ground and report any unusual trend to all relevant stakeholders and should run awareness campaigns for conservation of water and health related issues arising out of dry weather. Coordination with relevant provincial departments to ensure contingency planning regarding food, health, and water aspects for both human and livestock while municipal and other related authorities to be cautioned to keep a close watch on water demand, water supply, ground water table and dams level. Close watch must be kept in drought vulnerable regions in respective provinces also”.