Flood disaster: Deaths at Badin relief camp lead to protests

Three die at Badin relief camp as a result of diarrhea. Protestors storm DCO's office.

Ppi August 17, 2011

KARACHI: The death of three persons, including a child, as a result of diarrhea at a relief camp in Badin led to a protest by hundreds of people, who stormed the District Coordination Officer’s (DCO) office on Wednesday, demanding food, water and ration, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum said in a release.

More than 1,400 people hailing from different affected areas joined the rally and condemned ill-treatment by the government, demanding food, shelter and safe water.

(Read: Army relief operation underway in Sindh flood-hit areas)

"We are living here in a poor relief camp set up in school building since August 10 with entire families without food, water and other facilities. The district government authorities distributed ration of two days, which ended but then they could not give anything. Now they give cooked food for onetime daily, putting the lives of minor children and elderly people at risk," said Makal Shah, a woman activist of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Badin district, who was leading the rally.

"Whenever we go to the DCO and other officials they have more excuses of not extending helping hand to these affected people. All the PPP leaders, legislators are coming daily to visit the affected people but they have nothing to give to these displaced people," Shah said.

The rally led by community activists Sajan Mallah, Mithan Mallah and others, attracted a large number of civil society members and people from the affected communities.

They were later assured by the district administration that their problems will be resolved, who said the protestors should go back as President Asif Ali Zardari was coming to the affected areas.

The recent rains and the flooding drains affected one million people in Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar and Thatta districts.

The government authorities, despite hectic efforts, could not plug a single breach, where irrigation department officials set up camp two days back to supervise the work.

They said fishermen have lost more than 50 fishing boats, anchored along the beach near traditional jetties in Badin and Thatta districts.

At least 200 fishing nets, which were harvested in drains and coastal areas have also been washed away by drain water.


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