Threat of waterborne diseases looms over Balochistan

Published: September 16, 2012
Federal and provincial authorities give contradictory assessments of damage. PHOTO: FILE

Federal and provincial authorities give contradictory assessments of damage. PHOTO: FILE


Authorities on Saturday warned of an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the flood-hit areas of Balochistan.

This will add to the miseries of tens of thousands of people who have been uprooted from their homes and have no access to basic provisions.

“Over 22,000 people are suffering from various pandemics like malaria, cholera and hepatitis in the province,” Minister for Science and Technology Mir Chengez Khan Jamali told The Express Tribune.

“We appeal to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help the flood victims as the provincial health department is unable to cope with the situation.”

Balochistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Tahir Munir concurred the fear of waterborne diseases was a pressing concern, but said the authority’s first priority was to provide food to those accommodated in makeshift shelters.

“Over 100,000 people have taken shelter near Sarkar House in Dera Murad Jamali”Munir said.

Contradictory reports

The PDMA confirmed the deaths of 18 people, adding that around 15 sustained serious injuries, but unofficial figures suggest more than 110 people have died in the destruction caused by the recent flood. Of the fatalities, six occurred in Kachi district, four in Killa Saifullah, three in Lasbela, three in Khuzdar and two in Dera Bugti.

The figures released by the NDMA, however, differ from the ones published by its provincial counterpart. According to the NDMA, 15 people have died, while 12 have sustained injuries. It added 1,827 shops, houses, and other buildings had been completely destroyed while 2,464 sustained partial damages. Around 18,000 acres of farmland has been swamped, whereas 4,444 cattle also died in the province.

According to reports by private television channels, over 30,000 families have taken shelter along a stretch of the National Highway in Naseerabad. A statement issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said as many as 4,600 blankets and 4,300 tents had been distributed in the province so far.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.

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  • Oct 5, 2012 - 9:25PM

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