Ignorance galore : PDMA downplays rain-related damage

Report claims not a single person was displaced during the devastating rains that have lashed Sindh


RAZZAk ABRO September 07, 2020
Pakistan Navy team rescues distressed people in rain hit area of Karachi. PHOTO: PAKISTAN NAVY

KARACHI:

Despite the devastating rains in Sindh, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) does not have updated data about rain-related damages across the province.

According to the official data compiled by the PDMA and released to the public, not a single person was displaced throughout the province during the recent spell of heavy rains. The claim was apparently made without considering that around 20 districts of the province, including all of Karachi’s districts, have been declared calamity-hit areas by the Sindh government.

The report, available on the PDMA website, includes rain-related losses in the province from July 6 to September 3. It, however, does not mention accurate figures about the affected population.

According to the report, not a single rain-affected person has been shifted to relief camps anywhere in the province.

Interestingly, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had himself visited a relief camp in Umerkot district on September 1. Speaking to journalists at the time, he said that similar camps had been established in Samaro, Tando Jan Mohammad and other rain-affected areas, to provide shelter to the internally displaced population.

The CM’s spokesperson, meanwhile, said the relief camp established in Umerkot comprises 300 tents. Scores of people in Thatta and Sujawal districts were also displaced from their homes due to the rain, with the local administration of the respective districts claiming to have shifted them to safe places.

The spokesperson added that the Sindh government had directed local administrations to make arrangements for providing those displaced with temporary shelter and food.

According to the report, a total of 72 people lost their lives due to the heavy rains throughout the province, including 59 in Karachi. The report, however, claims that only 13 houses were damaged in Karachi, out of which 11 were partially damaged.

Karachi rains: Scores displaced from Naya Nazimabad

Moreover, the report said a total of 622 houses were damaged throughout the province because of the rains, with 606 of them in Tando Allahyar district - and only 16 in the remaining districts of the province, including those of Karachi. It said that two houses were damaged in Naushero Feroze and only one in Umerkot district.

The PDMA report further stated that Tando Allahyar was the worst-affected district in the province in recent rains, claiming that out of 25,174 acres of destroyed crops in the province, 25,042 acres were in Tando Allahyar district alone. The report added that some 132 acres of crops were destroyed in Sukkur district, without any mention of the crop damage data in other districts.

According to an official statement issued by the CM House, after his return from different towns in Mirpurkhas, the CM said that around 90 per cent of the crops there had been destroyed due to the heavy rains.

When contacted, PDMA deputy director Shayan Shah admitted that some data was missing in the report.

“We will update it after receiving the latest information,” he told The Express Tribune. “We have sought updated information about rain-related damage across the province from the relevant district offices and will include it in the report soon.”

 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2020.

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