Helping hand: ‘Government must do more for flood victims’

More than 1.3 million people have been displaced by the low-level floods, say speakers.


Our Correspondent/ppi August 26, 2013
This picture shows rising water levels in River Sindh. The recent rains have lead to flooding in the surrounding embankments of the river, leading to the displacement of over 1.3 million people settled there. Authorities fear that the situation could get worse as more rains are expected in the coming days. PHOTO: EXPRESS

HYDERABAD:


As many as 132 villages, with an estimated population of over 15,000, are surrounded by floodwater in Sehwan town of Jamshoro district, according to the deputy commissioner Sajid Jamal Abro. Of these, 25 are completely submerged in water.


Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Abro said that four relief camps had been set up for the residents of these 25 villages. He said that the flood in the Indus River had destroyed standing crops on 95,000 acres of agricultural land. Meanwhile, civil society and humanitarian organisations have demanded the government to declare the kutcha areas as calamity-hit areas and announce a relief and compensation progmamme for the people affected by the flood.

The meeting, organised by the Sindh Peoples Commission on Disaster Prevention and Management, on Monday, expressed concern over the lack of response by the provincial and district disaster management authorities to the emergency and appealed to the government and international humanitarian organisations to intervene. Speakers at the conference surmised that the flood had caused displacement of more than 1.3 million people.

Representatives of over 25 organisations shared their assessments that they had collected through field visits in the areas affected by the flood. They also reviewed the measures currently being taken by the government and warned that new spells of rains and increasing water volume in River Indus may cause further displacement of the people.

They observed that the government’s role in providing relief to the displaced people was minimal at best. Moreover, they lamented that the data being shared by the National Disaster Management Authority was largely incorrect as it did not take into account the number of deaths taking place in the affected areas and there were no health facilities to facilitate the displaced people.

The meeting passed a resolution to impress upon the government to utilise the budget as per the contingency plan and devise an effective strategy to help those genuinely affected by the floods.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2013.

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