HYDERABAD: The government has yet to respond effectively to feedstock scarcity which is affecting millions of animals, according to the federal law minister Mola Bux Chandio.
The Sindh livestock department estimated that over 150,000 animals died and about 3.5 million farm animals were affected by the floods.
“More than 27,000 animals died only in Nawabshah district,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. He said that president Zardari had ordered all the federal ministers to visit their areas and report back about relief and rehabilitation efforts. “The scale of calamity is so huge that our extensive efforts seem lacking.”
The minister said that although the district government, livestock department and the provincial government were working to prevent more loss of animals, a concerted response was still required. “We definitely need to assess the requirements of fodder and make it available with the help of humanitarian agencies.”
Talking about agricultural loans, he cited lack of resources as the reason behind small amount of loans given to farmers. “At least we are extending a helping hand to the growers,” he said. “We lack the resources to provide for complete rehabilitation but we are still providing small loans, free and subsidised agricultural inputs.’
Chandio said that over 50,000 acres of land was encroached upon, obstructing the natural flow of water. However, president Zardari had ordered all the district administrations to vacate them. “We can no longer afford to ignore this problem because we have to clear routes for the natural flow of water to prevent flooding.”
He also criticised the “misguided” development work in Karachi during the government of Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “They built a useless overhead bridge outside Qasimabad which has encircled the town and choked the flow of traffic,” he said. “It was their Nazim who approved housing schemes and apartment buildings inside the riverbed of Indus in Latifabad area.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2011.
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