ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that 1.4 million children in the flood-hit areas would be vaccinated in two phases on Monday. The first phase will start from September 1 in which about 700,000 children will be vaccinated in 40 most affected districts. The second phase will start on October 1st and cover another 700,000 in 37 districts. The minister said that the federal government will spend Rs961 million on the vaccination programme.
Kaira said that the provincial governments have been asked to submit lists of calamity-hit districts. Sindh had already submitted the list, while the remaining provinces were in the process of doing so. The minister said that the survivors would be given compensation based on the cards issued to them, after the completion of the registration process.
The provinces have not given their nominations for the National Oversight Disaster Management Council, Kaira said. The federal government will supply medicines to provincial governments for three months and 3.3 million tons of medicines have been dispatched to the provinces already. Additionally, four million tons of medicines have been purchased for onward dispatch to the 40 most affected districts.
The minister said 1,645 deaths have been confirmed while 2,479 people have been injured in the floods. About 1,237,493 houses have been damaged, 1,349,343 people have been rescued and 190,923 tents have been distributed among the survivors. The minister said that roads were being restored gradually but inundation in some localities was hindering the process.
Kaira said that the protective embankment of Jinnah Barrage had been plugged, along with six breaches out of eight at Tanusa-Panjnad. The protective dykes at Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur canals have also being reinforced. He said that water was receding from Guddu and Sukkur but the high flood situation will remain in Kotri during the next few days.
The weather was likely to remain humid and warm during next the few days, especially in Sindh, while a low intensity monsoon system would start from September 3rd, , he added.
The minister said foreign aid from the Middle East and European Union poured in on Monday, while foreign medical missions of different counties are operating in different areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.
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