SUKKUR: Anticipating displacement from the river embankment areas, the district governments have established relief camps at various embankments, but so far no relocation has taken place.
Reports from parts of Kandhkot-Kashmore, Ghotki and Sukkur suggest that while communication to some of the villages has been cut off, water has not entered the villages.
The water level at the Guddu and Sukkur Barrages is gradually rising. On Wednesday, the upstream at the Guddu Barrage was recorded at 356,000 cusecs and downstream at 328,000 cusecs. At the Sukkur Barrage upstream was 286,000 cusecs and downstream was 231,000 cusecs and at Kotri Barrage the upstream was 92,000 cusecs and 53,000 cusecs is being released in its downstream.
According to reports from Kandhkot-Kashmore, water has surrounded some of the villages on the river embankments, cutting off their communication with other areas but it has not yet entered any of the villages. Similarly, communication of three villages situated in the river embankment near the Ali Wahan Bund, 15 kilometres away from Sukkur, has been cut off and despite the establishment of relief camps at the embankments, the villagers are not ready to leave their homes. Some villages near the Qadirpur Loop Bund have been surrounded by water and the villagers are reportedly using boats to cross to drier areas.
The district governments have established relief camps, medical camps and veterinary facilities at the protective embankments to facilitate the displaced people but so far not a single person has arrived at these camps.
The director-general of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Salman Shah, speaking to The Express Tribune said that every possible step has been taken to facilitate the displaced people. He said a medium flood carrying 500,000 cusecs of water is not a threat, but they have nevertheless provided relief material to the district governments in order to facilitate displaced persons from the river embankment areas. We have also asked the district administrations to motivate the residents of the river embankments to move to safer places to avoid any harm, he added.
The former Sindh irrigation secretary and an authority on water issues, Idrees Rajput, told The Express Tribune that though the water level is not very high, even then the agencies concerned should keep a vigilant eye, as any negligence might prove disastrous.
According to Rajput rainfall normally takes place till September 15, which means more water will come but till then the recent floods carrying 500,000 cusecs of water will pass through.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.