The government has not yet established a relief camp for flood victims in Balochistan, where hundreds of villages were washed away last month.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has not sent a team to help out flood-affected people in Balochistan, said a senior official of the authority, Brig Sajjad Naeem.
“We kept our focus on Sindh because we have limited resources in case of a natural disaster,” Sajjad said while briefing senators who met on Thursday to chalk out a strategy for providing relief to flood victims across the country.
Lawmakers are said to have raised Rs1.5 million over the last four days. Senators Dr Ismail Buledi and Ghulam Nabi Bangash criticised the government for “a discriminatory policy” and said it had failed to provide relief goods to victims of flash floods which destroyed 400,000 houses in Dera Allahyar and Rojhan Jamali areas in Balochistan.
(Read: Flash floods - Rains wreak havoc in Balochistan)
“No single camp has been set up for flood victims…this is injustice with the people of Balochistan,” said Buledi. Deputy Chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali and Senators Rehmatullah Kakar, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Jamal Khan Leghari, Muhammad Khan Sherani and Wali Badini also called for immediate government support for flood victims in Balochistan.
Criticising the government for its slow response, lawmakers from Balochistan said why they failed to build a consensus about the distribution of relief goods in Balochistan.
Lawmakers also criticised National Assembly members for not focusing their attention on fund-raising for flood victims.
“MNAs just went home after proroguing the session,” said Senator Bangash, adding: “They [MNAs] have nothing to do with the poor people facing the flood ravages in Sindh and Balochistan.” NDMA officials informed the special committee that six million people had been affected by this year’s flood. An amount of Rs69 million was allocated for development work this year.
As many as 248 persons were killed and 578 injured in heavy floods, which affected crops sown over 5.3 million acres in 23 districts in Sindh.
As many as 100 mobile teams of NDMA distributed 160,000 tents among displaced persons in flood which perished 13,236 cattle.
UN help sought
Lawmakers sought United Nations’ help in food security, shelters, health and water, especially for 300,000 people who are still living in relief camps, officials said. Pakistan and UN officials are holding a meeting on September 18 to chalk out a plan for provision of food for flood victims.
(Read: Seeking global assistance, govt briefs foreign diplomats)
Senators urged the international to extend support to mitigate the sufferings of the people rendered homeless in floods.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2011.