When it rains, it really, really pours

The recent floods resulted in 40 villages coming under water and people in the area are turning to the government.


Tariq Ismaeel July 24, 2010

Due to the recent rainfall drains and nullah’s in Koh Suleman are overflowing. The high tide and open sewers have flooded the streets of the entire district. The floods have ransacked Rajanpur and over 40 villages in the vicinity have been completely submerged. The flood has also affected standing crops on thousands of acres of land and approximately 100,000 people have also been displaced.

Monsoon flooding has also affected areas around Rajanpur such as Rojhan and Dajal Chak Shaheed, Hajipur, Lal Garh, Khokharabad, Pathan, Bashir Nagar, Busti Gori and surrounding localities. People in most villages have appealed to the government to assist them with relocation and rehabilitation as many have lost all their belongings.

The Punjab government has declared the entire Rajanpur area as a ‘flood zone’ and has waved off taxes for local farmers. The district administration has been ordered to assist the affected people.

District coordination officer (DCO) Mian Iftikhar Rasool said “We have launched relief operations in the area and a helicopter is being used to provide relief goods to the public,” he said, adding that civil defence and Rescue 1122 officials were carrying out relief operations in the area with diligence. District police officer (DPO) Sohail Zafar said that the flood had caused great damage and more relief items were required to meet the growing numbers of affected people. Rajanpur villages in Chak Murid, Busti Pathan and Mud Ramzan are some of the worst hit areas, he said “but relief goods have not been transported to these zones as yet.”

Locals in the area have complained to the authorities and have appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for help.

“I have lost my entire life in this flood, my house’s roof collapsed and all my things were destroyed, my children and I spent an entire day on the broken house roof to keep from downing,” said Almas Bibi, a mother of four, living in Busti Pathan.

“The situation is a complete disaster, entire roads and villages are sinking into the ground and the authorities seem powerless to stop any of it,” said Lal Rashid Gul, a Hajipur resident.

Police officials said that they were also searching for reports of any casualties that had occurred during the flood. “Several roofs collapsed and the water levels seem to be rising rather than ebbing, so we don’t know how many people were killed during the past two days,” said DPO Sohail Zafar.

The recent floods have resulted in 40 villages coming under water and people in the area are turning to the government for help.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2010.

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