'Sindh’s towns under threat from Balochistan floodwater'

According to officials, the district administration has issued evacuation warnings to people of Qubu Saeed Khan town.


Hafeez Tunio August 17, 2010

KARACHI: The flood disaster is not over. The waters coming from Balochistan threaten not only the kachcha areas - but the cities of Sindh as well.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPA Najamud Din Abro told The Express Tribune that the gushing water, after inundating Rojhan Jamali in Balochistan, has reached Kot Magsi. “Through the Kirthar Canal, it will reach Kambar-Shahdadkot district,” he explained.

The water will enter the Hamal Lake through the Right Bank Outfall Drainage, and then pass through the Manchar Lake through the main Narra Valley drain.

Following the 2007 Balochistan flood, some of the breaches in the protective embankments were not plugged, while others are very weak. “I think our district will be the next target,” warned Abro, adding that there is a dire need to mobilise the district administration in Kambar-Shahdadkot and Warah.

According to officials, the district administration has issued evacuation warnings to people of Qubu Saeed Khan town, near Kambar-Shahdadkot. The embankment from Qubu Saeed Khan to Dadu is very fragile and there are dozens of vulnerable points.

Imran Leghari, a PPP MPA who hails from tehsil Khairpur Nathan Shah, district Dadu, said that he had written a letter to the administration about the influx of water from Manchar Lake which may affect around 0.5 million (80 per cent) of the population of his area. “I visited the flood protective embankment and the main Nara Valley drain on Tuesday and found about one dozen vulnerable points due to which Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Johi tehsils are under threat,” he claimed.

He said that after 2007, the government did not pay heed to work on protective embankments and rehabilitation.

Ghulam Murtuza Jatoi, an MNA of the National Peoples Party from Naushero Feroz, said there are five vulnerable areas of the district. One breach has occurred near Dadu-Moro Bridge due to which a large number of villages have come under water. He said that around 150,000 people have been affected in his area. “No one is willing to stay in the relief camps. Hardly ten per cent are in the camps and the rest have moved to their relatives,” Jatoi said. “There are 1.15 million cusecs of water in our district.”

He said people living in the kachcha areas did not come out, but now when their area is flooded, they are asking for help.

Humera Alwani, a PPP MPA, told The Express Tribune that the flood will reach Thatta on August 20. She said that the army has been deployed near five vulnerable points and 70,000 people been rescued from the kachcha areas but 40,000 are not willing to move.

Meanwhile, Shaharyar Mahar, a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) MPA who belongs to taluka Lakhi, district Shikarpur, said government officials are not cooperating with him. Many canals are overflowing and submerging the goths, but government machinery is only focusing on the main embankments.

“We appreciate that they are concentrating on it, but who will look after the other people. Around 75 villages in my constituency have been submerged,” he said.

PML-Q MPA Mir Ghalib Hussain Domki from Kashmore said his constituency has been inundated and the water level is constantly rising. “People are sitting on the roads and eighty per cent of them have no food or medical facilities,” he said.

The Indus Highway is also inundated. “We fear that if it rains more, then the Kashmore district will completely disappear from the map of Sindh,” he said.

He said that scores of people have drowned in his area, but they still do not have exact figures. “I can say it will take years to rehabilitate Kandhkot, Ghouspur and other cities,” he added.

According to Domki, many people are still stranded in the kachcha areas where neither the army nor the government have reached to rescue them.

“The water came in with such speed that it damaged houses, standing crops, trees and washed away animals. In my constituency, 300,000 people have been affected,” he said. He further said the government has given Rs40 million to the district administration for relief and rescue efforts. “Though it is not sufficient, but people can benefit from the fund.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2010.

COMMENTS (1)

Zaki ul Azhar | 11 years ago | Reply they will not support flood victims, but will encourage militancy.
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