- Punjab is largely unaffected and hence, we are giving it the major responsibility to aid flood-affected areas of Balochistan and Sindh, says Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal announced on Tuesday the launch of 'Adopt a District' programme, under which administrative control of flood-hit areas in the country will be transferred to safe districts for one month.
Under the scheme, districts that possess ample human and administrative resources will take control of flood-affected areas.
Speaking at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Islamabad, Iqbal urged provincial governments, mainly Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to cooperate with the federal leadership for the success of the programme.
“Punjab is largely unaffected hence we are giving it the major responsibility to aid flood-affected areas of Balochistan and Sindh,” he said.
He also stressed the need to set up mobile hospitals in affected areas to deal with the spread of water-borne diseases that are on a rapid rise due to inundation of water.
“Through the Higher Education Commission (HEC), we will task students to prepare nutrition packs in line with government-released specifications so that the federal leadership can send 2 million packs to malnourished flood affectees,” said the planning minister.
He said that one-third of Pakistan was dealing with a “sea of water” and appealed to the remaining two-third of the country to help affectees in any way they can.
“We have to work day and night for reconstruction. We have summoned all the services wings to work alongside us but the large scale of the tragedy demands unity of all institutions,” Iqbal said.
“We have to involve friendly countries to recoup losses,” Iqbal added. “This way, we will be able to normalise the lives of affectees quickly.”
According to statistics released by the NDMA, 1559 people have lost lives from the floods while 973,632 livestock animals also died.
The statistics also revealed that 12,716 kms of road infrastructure took a hit while 374 bridges were damaged as well.
It showed the total number of damaged houses near 2 million.
Food security in Pakistan has also taken a major hit as agricultural fields face massive destruction.