In one of the worst-affected areas of Saturday’s rainfall, Saadi Town is submerged in water but its residents hardly have a drop to drink.
Dirty puddles cover the streets as residents struggle to find clean drinking water. The access to clean water for drinking and personal purposes has been cut off since Saturday night after floodwater seeped into the pipelines and underground tanks.
Waseem returned home from Hyderabad on Sunday to find his house drowned three feet by water. He asked his friends to bring three cans to drain out the water. Holding a wiper in his hand, he removes the cover of an underground tank to show the mud-coloured water.
“Filthy water is coming through the lines. I can only sweep the floor with it.”
The heavy downpour followed by floodwater has destroyed the electrical appliances in his house, such as television, fridge and computer. “Except for the air conditioner and fans, everything else is filled with water,” he complained.
In block three of the residential society, bearded Muzammil Hasan helps his sons dry the car engines. Their three cars, one brand new Mehran, are submerged in water. Hasan, who lives with three sons and his grandchildren, said that they have been using mineral water for drinking as well as for cleaning purposes. “We have no choice but to buy mineral water. Everyone here is doing the same.”
The men are seen busy cleaning their cars, while women sweep floors to remove the dirty water. Carpets have been spread out on rooftops to dry out.
Recalling the incident, Hasan said that he had just sit down for dinner when an announcement from a mosque warned that the dam had broken and water was gushing in. “Within minutes, water with so much pressure started coming inside. We wanted to leave but could not.”
He points towards the high marks of water on the wall to show the damage done to the houses. As he was speaking, a next door neighbour came with a bottle of mineral water on his bicycle. Since water has fallen short in the nearby grocery shop, he had to go to two other shops before he could find one. “There seems to be shortage of mineral water now,” he frowned.
Despite the army now taking control of the area, residents feel that the rescue operation is quite slow. “They have not reached many blocks where there is water.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.