The floods in southern Sindh this year are expected to cost billions of rupees, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Following a field visit to the worst flood-hit areas of Sindh, NDMA and the United Nations on Friday announced to launch a ‘Rapid Response Plan’ to initiate a swift assessment of flood losses.
According to a statement issued by NDMA, health, education and communication infrastructure had sustained substantial damage in Sindh.
In order to assess the financial impact of the disaster, a high level team – comprising the NDMA chairman, head of the UN mission in Pakistan and other professionals – visited the flood-hit areas of Sindh.
The road from Badin to Karachi has been inundated in floodwater, making it more difficult for relief activities to take place. A total of four million acres of land, including 1.7 million acres of agriculture land has been inundated, causing damage to 80 per cent of cash crops, the statement said.
Meeting with the CM
The NDMA and UN assessment team held a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Friday, which was attended by provincial secretaries and high- ranking officials.
The session decided to launch a ‘Rapid Response Plan’ to initiate a swift assessment of losses, following which the UN will fulfill the requirements.
The federal government, through NDMA, has incurred a financial input of Rs1.5 billion in rescue and relief efforts in the stricken areas, so far. According to the NDMA, the government’s input will likely increase to Rs8 billion.
The statement added that to curb the spread of malaria in the affected areas, NDMA arranged an anti-malaria spray with the help of chartered helicopters. The authority further provided 75,000 ration packs and 20,000 more water purification tablets for flood hit areas.
NDMA Chairman Dr Zafar Qadir reiterated the resolve to extend every possible help to the distraught brethren to mitigate their hardships.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2011.
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