Flood fallout: Hundreds protest against administration for not repairing dykes

Villagers say crops were ruined because dykes from last year were still broken.


Owais Jaffery September 05, 2011

VEHARI:


Hundreds have begun protesting in Vehari after the MET office predicted heavy rainfall in the next three days. Protesters said that several weak dykes had not yet been repaired in the district despite repeated appeals to the district authorities.


Acres of crops had been destroyed in the district and district coordination officer (DCO) Nasrullah Leghari has confirmed that a total of 19 villages have been submerged in the area. “We have arranged camps for the victims and special relief camps with medical facilities have been also organized,” he added.

Major rural towns include Murad Ali, Saahuka, Monger and Tanzarye Pehlwan. Health officials said that they were making arrangements to provide vaccines and medicines at flood sites but they were short on supply. “There are several threats including dengue, gastro diseases as well as snake bites,” said executive district officer (EDO) Health Dr Afzal Saqib.

Protesters said that over 50,000 people in Garh doma of sub district Alipur were likely to be affected by the floods.

“The water has already broken through three dykes but the district administration has done nothing. They want us to evacuate but have made no provisions to protect our land,” said a resident Saadullah Khan.

Water in Sarki, a point near Alipur, where river Chenab and river Indus join has risen to 170,000 cusecs and neighbouring villages are under threat of flooding. Local residents said that over 4,000 acres of crops and gardens have already been inundated and 14 villages around this constituency have been completely submerged.

“Dozens of major dykes have not been repaired from last year and the areas are completely inundated,” said a villager Mubarak from Gabbar Aaraayin.

District authorities have confirmed that water levels in Rajanpur are rising continuously. The breach in Qutub Canal has widened further to 60 feet due to flash floods as rains continue in the Koh-i-Suleman range.

Many villages are inundated and the administration has not been successful in overcoming the breach so far. Over 300 people have been displaced and 4,500 acres of cotton crops have been submerged in these flood breaches.

Rajanpur DCO Ghazi Amaanullah said that district officials have been trying their level best to provide comfort to the citizens.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.

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