PRF report on 'Flood-2013': Sindh govt urged to take all depts on board

Shoaib Ur Rehman August 18, 2013


KARACHI: Haleem Adil Shaikh, former Adviser to Sindh chief minister for Relief department, has urged the provincial government to take all departments concerned on board to save millions of people from flood 2013.

He mentioned this in a comprehensive report on 'Flood-2013″ filed by Pakistan Relief Foundation (PRF), a NGO established by Shaikh, with the team of dedicated people who all had worked hard during the heavy rains and flood of 2012.

Copy of report available with Business Recorder stated that: The government must have taken measures to avoid the fourth consecutive flood in Sindh. Experts predicted that flood water will not exceed beyond 600 thousand cusecs but this will also be a “High Flood” in Sindh.

In previous months, we read many reports that rains will be recorded above the normal rainfall. The question rises that how much our government is ready to face another heavy spell expected by the mid of August and September? Loss of life is vital to address in current weather situation in Sindh.

Flood and heavy rains caused persistent damage to public and private infrastructure, displacing millions in previous floods and loss of hundreds of billions rupees with major loss to the economy of the country.

It has also been evoked by international donors to have fatigue to invest any more in disasters. While having this situation we should not forget our eternal resilience to disasters.

Report mentioned that water level is growing day by day at Hamal Lake, it will directly affect suburbs of Johi area of district Dadu. Because of increasing water it affects 22 villages of Flood Protection Embankment. Most common threat to villages is disconnection and loss of major communication infrastructure. Kachho is one of the zone of flash floods, cyclones, droughts. Every year, Taluka Johi faces potential risk. Around 75 thousand population, mostly 8 union councils are identifying at risk namely UC Pat Gul Mohammad, UC Phulji, UC Bahawalpur, UC Drigh Bala, UC Johi, UC Kamal Khan, UC Chhinee, UC Sanwro and UC Tando Rahim.

On 15th August, many areas of Ghotki district were first reported to be inundated. People from various villages have taken refuge on roadsides and safe places. They are in dire need of food items, high potency food for children, medicines and shelter. While jeopardizing many of the northern areas of Sindh flood water is still a major concern to deal with.

ROLES OF LINE DEPARTMENTS IRRIGATION DEPARTMENT: Rural and urban areas of various districts are witnessing inundation. De-watering in the affected areas is very critical and Irrigation department should show seriousness in dealing with this issue. De-watering machines were already non-operational due to shortage of fuel and electricity. Now it is time to take war-footing measures to secure the people from losses of flood.

WAPDA: In some affected areas where De-watering machines are available, there is problem of power shortage as a result of De-watering is seriously affected. We have observed ourselves such situation in Purana Sukkur, where De-watering machines were available but there was no light. Reportedly, there are also incidents of electrocutions in various districts. There is need of cooperation and coordination of WAPDA With line Departments.

RELIEF AND REHABILITATION DEPARTMENT: It is prime time for Relief and Rehabilitation Department to come into action and operate as its constitutional authorities in the province. Relief and rehabilitation should practice in all disaster management right from prevention, rescue, relief, rehabilitation, early recovery and development in the affected areas. It should be understood that Relief Department has constitutional authority to work on epidemic, fire, threat and control and prevent any calamity either it is manmade or natural.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Due to stagnation of rain water, people of affected districts are exposed to epidemic diseases and there is urgent need of sending mobile medical teams from the safer areas to the affected areas to provide medical facilities and assistance to the people to reduce chances of diseases.

LIVESTOCK DEPARTMENT: The condition in the rain affected areas is seriously affecting the livestock and it can spread epidemics in the cattle. There is need of precautionary vaccinations to prevent the diseases in livestock.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT: As the rural and urban areas have been inundated, Local Government Department should take effective healthful measures by keeping the areas cleared and arrange for anti-malaria and dengue spray in urban settlements.

REVENUE DEPARTMENT: Revenue officers/staff appear to be insufficient to deal with the magnitude of calamity in the calamity declared Districts; hence for the smooth and urgent nature of work of rescue, relief assistance, there is necessity to requisition the services of officers/staff of revenue or any other Department from the adjacent districts, less affected by the rains.

SOCIAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT: The department should provide assistance in registering the rain affected people in coordination with other departments, report mentioned.

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