‘The government is making a fool out of us by making a big fuss about the floods’


Hafeez Tunio August 02, 2010

KARACHI: The government is making a fool out of people by creating a hype about the flood, believes a resident of Larkana, who is unwilling to relocate.

Ghulam Muhammad Mamnani, 60, lives with his family in Shahan Mamnani Goth in Keti Pirzada, Larkana. His village is just one kilometre from the River Indus.

As floods come gushing down from the Punjab, a majority of people living in the katcha, or riverine areas, on both sides of the River Indus have refused to evacuate their villages. The government imposed Section 144 yet the residents are adamant they will not budge.

Even though the floods have yet to enter Sindh, breaches in the River Indus have already inundated several villages in different districts. The Express Tribune learnt that 90 per cent of the villages situated inside the katcha areas are likely to be submerged in the expected floods.

A breach occurred in Union Council Qadir Pur Ghotki, inundating around 24 villages. Water has entered six villages, including Khuda Bux Shaikh, Mullan Laiq Kalhoro and Nareeja Goth, near Madeji in District Larkana.

Around 30 villages, including Bahadur Junejo, Shahmir Mangnejo and Aandal Narejo, have been flooded. At least 20 goths have also come under water in Naushero Feroz.

“We will not move from here and in case of a flood, our people know how to manage it,” Mamnani told The Express Tribune over the phone.  He explained that they have made temporary high-rise houses that flood waters cannot reach. Wooden houses are normally 20 to 25 feet higher than the water surface and arrangements have been made for the livestock as well, he added.

“We have seen many floods and can mange in such a situation,” he said.

Ghulam Hussain Kalhoro of Beghan Kalhoro village from the same area seconds this viewpoint. “There was a similar threat in 2005 that a huge flood is coming from the north,” he said. “Many of our relatives left the katcha area but nothing happened to us,” he said.

On the other hand, a journalist, Abdul Haq Pirzado, said that many people have left the katcha area. “A majority of the people who are inside the katcha area are either wanted in criminal cases or they patronise the gangs,” he said. “How can they come out and move to the protective bunds?”

According to Provincial Disaster Management Authority director operations Khair Muhammad Kalwar, the authority can handle the first flow of 500,000 to 600,000 cusecs, which is likely to hit by August 3 or August 4. But the second flow, carrying at least one million cusecs, will probably create problems, he said, adding that the high water pressure may hit Guddu Barrage on August 5 or August 6.

Around 171 camps have been set up in 11 districts of the province, said Kalwar, stressing that their role is to help different departments shift people from the katcha areas and monitor the protective bunds.

“Half of the people living in the katcha areas of Kashmore, Sukkur and Ghotki have been shifted,” he said.

Sukkur Barrage chief engineer Muhammad Haroon Memon said that they are trying their best to strengthen the 62-kilometre bunds falling within the jurisdiction Naushero Feroz.

According to officials in the irrigation department, there are threats to Sajawal and Jati cities of Thatta, where a breach can occur given the heavy flow. Chief Engineer, Kotri, Manzoor Shaikh denied that there was a threat to these cities.

Shaikh added that once the water flow passes through Guddu, Sukkur, Larkana and Dadu, its pressure will reduce from one million cusecs to 500,000 cusecs.

Facilities at relief camps

A majority of the residents are opting to stay with their relatives than move in to the relief camps, officials said.

Secretary Irrigation Shuja Junejo insisted, however, that all basic facilities are available at the camps.

The army and the coast guard are not providing boats as yet but the government is going to provide airlifting services very soon, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (2)

Riaz | 11 years ago | Reply Indeed a point noted by a journalist, Abdul Haq Pirzado, that many people have left the katcha area. “A majority of the people who are inside the katcha area are either wanted in criminal cases or they patronise the gangs,” he said. “How can they come out and move to the protective bunds?” Secretary Irrigation Shuja Junejo insisted, however, that all basic facilities are available at the camps. The army and the coast guard are not providing boats as yet but the government is going to provide airlifting services very soon, he said.
ShahzadA | 11 years ago | Reply I am not too sure what is your purpose for to write this, but you surely need to go to Nawshehra and check it out for yourself. I think this The Express Tribune is quite immature to publish such articles!!
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read