New dams vital to control floods: COAS

Gen Qamar visits flood-affected areas in Dadu district


Our Correspondent September 10, 2022
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa spent complete Defence and Martyrs day visiting far-flung flood-affected areas of Balochistan. PHOTO: ISPR

RAWALPINDI:

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that a meeting of the chief ministers of the four provinces as well as the prime minister has been called next week to devise a plan to mitigate the impact of floods in the future by building more big dams in the country.

“The effect of global climate change is coming to the whole world … our glaciers are melting, convincing the world to go towards alternative energy,” the Inter-Services Public Relations quoted the army chief as saying.

According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing on Saturday, “The world has to help to a certain extent.”

The chief of army staff urged the people to step up and help the flood victims.

The ISPR said that the COAS visited the flood-affected areas in Dadu district of Sindh.

Talking to the media after the visit, the army chief said that he visited almost all areas affected due to floods across Pakistan including Othal, Naseerabad, Rajanpur, Swat, Larkana, Shahdadkot, and Khairpur.

Read More cuts made to tame unrelenting Manchar

"Today, I arrived in Dadu," he said, adding that it was the most-affected area.

"Manchar and Hamal lakes are 100km apart but have now merged," the COAS said, emphasising on the gravity of the floods in the district where the government was still engaged in relief and rescue efforts.

"While rescue work in most areas has been almost completed, we do send our helicopters and boats to rescue people from areas where emergencies due to snake bites, injuries or illnesses. However, rescue and relief work is ongoing here," the army chief said.

He added that Dadu city’s population was around 500,000, but it had currently increased to around 1 million and there was immense water pressure in the surrounding area.

The COAS lauded the efforts of the district commissioner who worked alongside the army to create embankments to save the city.

"In Dadu, we’re still in the first phase of rescuing people and providing them relief," he said.

On receiving aid from across the country and abroad, the army chief said: “We should not just rely on the international community to provide support.

"Currently, people in Pakistan are providing aid for victims. We are receiving a lot of aid particularly from Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. I would also request the people of Sindh — both rural and urban — to step up and support our brothers who are in a difficult situation at the moment and contribute towards providing aid."

He said the World Food Programme and USAID had already arrived to provide relief assistance.

"The UN secretary general is also here, while flights from different countries are also arriving," he said.

The army chief further remarked that the “affectees are our own responsibility”.

On the impact of rain in Pakistan, Gen Qamar said, “It would rain 50mm all year throughout these areas, but there was no preparation for 1,700mm rainfall.”

He also shared that a Dutch company was commissioned to conduct a study regarding flooding in 2017, which he said would now be needed to revisit.

COMMENTS (1)

John Prescott | 2 months ago | Reply

Look who is talking. He should have said this the day leaves this post. You have to reduce your  defense budget of 12 billion dollars to do anything in Pakistan. Your travel expenses are equal to the govt contribution annually to build a dam. These corrupt people had ruined this country.

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