KARACHI: Two years after the unprecedented floods wrecked havoc in parts of the country, the government has yet to set up any early warning system, said civil society representatives on Wednesday.
Following the floods, the government has spent billions of rupees on rehabilitation and providing people food and shelter, but thousands of villages continue to face the risk of being swept away. “Everyone is talking about what could be done after the disaster.
No one is thinking about steps that can be taken to prevent it,” said Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Chairperson M Ali Shah. He was speaking at a meeting organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research.
The places which were affected the most by the floods were located in the Katcha area, said environmental activist Naseer Memon, referring to the river bed which has become inhabited over the years.
“So much devastation was caused because people have settled in path of the river. It is as simple as that,” he said, arguing that before the construction of Tarbela Dam, high floods used to come every three years.
Sindh Relief Advisor Haleem Adil Sheikh said that the government cannot deal with natural disasters by itself. “It is clear that the civil society, NGOs and foreign-aid groups will have to work with us.”
Although monsoon rains in Sindh haven’t been on a massive scale this year, there is a general consensus that the country will receive 15 per cent more downpour than last year, a prediction that has prompted everyone to gear up.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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