The devastation caused by torrential flooding in Sindh and other provinces of the country has resulted in unprecedented loss of life, homes, crops and businesses. It has reversed the cycle of economic development in affected districts all over the country. While these disasters are unavoidable and terrible as they are, much of their ferocity is assisted by our own actions or sometimes lack of action. Constant environmental degradation fuelled in part by human consumption, part increasing levels of poverty and part population pressures serves to increase the incidence of severe land erosions, mudslides, flooding and forest fires. These issues must be addressed by the international community as long-term developmental concerns in this country. That can be done within framework of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The PPP-led coalition government must also be commended for its determined efforts to put in place coherent coordination structures at the field level and, inter-alia, promote a clear division of responsibilities at inter-agency level to ensure greater accountability. We all must thank the international community, including the UN agencies, for their support to flood victims of Pakistan. We need to ask them to continue their support as we continue to move forward in managing the effects of this massive natural disaster. We need their continued solidarity with the people of Pakistan as we reconstruct our lives. -HASHIM ABRO, Islamabad, September 25.