Source UNJLC
Theme Air Transport, Overland Transport, Sea and Rivers Transport, Supply Chain
Countries Pakistan
Document type Snapshots
Publication date 07/06/2006

Monsoon (monsun) [Arab., mausium=season] :  wind that changes direction with change of season, notably in India and South East Asia. The change of wind direction is caused by the differences in temperatures of landmasses in contrast to that of oceans. The wet, or summer, monsoon is caused by low pressure that develops over South Asia as the landmass warms. Moisture-laden air over the oceans is drawn toward this centre of low pressure. The air cools as it ascends the slopes of mountain barriers; it can no longer retain moisture, resulting in heavy rainfall.  Source: Columbia University Press

Monsoon in Pakistan

  • The south-west monsoon reaches Pakistan in late June/early July and starts retreating towards the end of August (though occasionally, it continues to be active even in September when some of the highest floods of the Indus Basin have been recorded).
  • As an indicator, mean total rainfall (mm) in Muzaffarabad increases from 79.1 in May, to 103.3 in June, it peaks at 327.6 in July, decreasing to 249.2 in August, with September averaging 108.0.  Source: World Meteorological Organisation.
  • Mid-September to mid-November is regarded as the transitory period, also referred to as the post-monsoon season.


1.    Introduction
2.    Map Overview
3.    Contingency Planning Recommendations
4.    Logistics Planning Considerations
5.    Weather Forecast

1. Introduction

UNJLC acknowledge that many authorities and Agencies/NGOs may already have commenced Monsoon logistics contingency planning. For those authorities and Agencies/NGOs who may require additional support UNJLC has produced this Monsoon Logistics Planning Snapshot, suggesting logistics planning considerations for humanitarian operations from June through to August and providing the attached map indicating potential landslide areas affecting access to large populations. 

2. Map Overview

The map is based on historic road status as per UNJLC Road Updates, combined with local knowledge and experience.  The colour of the road indicates the typical status of roads during the period of December 2005 to April 2006.  Green roads were almost always open, red roads were almost always closed and orange roads were sometimes closed.  The areas highlighted in purple are generally considered as the roads where landslides are likely to have the greatest programming impact i.e. primary access routes to large population centres where landslide potential is high.

3. Contingency Planning Recommendations

  • Identify potential slide areas within your area of operation;
  • Assess the possible risk and impact of these potential slide areas and road closures on the safety of your staff and the operation of your programme;
  • Is this risk acceptable ? 
  • Can the risk be mitigated ?  If so, how ? 
  • Possible mitigation strategies include:
    • the use of alternate routes;
    • rescheduling key programme dates for movement of staff and goods;
    • the establishment of forward storage sites; and
    • the pre-positioning of transportation assets.

4. Logistics Planning Considerations

For those agencies using primary access routes for transportation of goods to large population centres, UNJLC  recommends consideration be given to setting up forward storage sites (possible sites indicated on the attached map).  Consideration should be give to the following:

  • site selection (to negate flooding);
  • storage conditions (to negate damaged goods e.g. raised storage platforms, covers for protection from the elements etc);
  • type and capacity of onward transportation (smaller capacity and more ruggardised options e.g. 4wd jeep, mules etc) based on road access  and volume of goods to be transported.

5. Weather Forecast

As a useful planning tool, refer to Pakistan Meteorological Department who will issue a seasonal forecast for the 2006 monsoon season as of mid-June, available on website: