Devastating floods render tens of thousands homeless
By: Bari Baloch
QUETTA: Despite lapse of six days after heavy rains followed by devastating floods no rescue effort or relief activity on the part of the government is seen on the ground. People are lying along the highways and upper locations of the rain-battered areas without food, medicines and potable water.
“If serious steps were not taken, the situation of flood affectees would aggravate manifold,” says Aziz Ahmed resident of Jaffarabad whose house was inundated by floods and now he is searching for a place where he could establish a makeshift house and manage two time meal for his family until the situation turns to normal.
Though the floodwater is receding in districts Jaffarabad and Naseerabad which were badly affected by the recent unprecedented floods, yet thousands of people are living under open sky and complaining of not getting relief on the part of government and other humanitarian organisations.
The devastating floods claimed more than 84 lives, including that of six security personnel, women and children, rendering millions of people homeless besides washing away thousands of mud-houses in Jaffarabad, Naseerabad and Dera Bugti districts.
“Floods triggered by torrential rains have affected 11 districts of northern and southern parts of Balochistan affecting almost 600,000 people in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts” ,says Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, adding, the floods had caused at least 22 deaths, destroyed crops on 24,866 acres and swept away about 4,000 houses. “Dera Allahyar, Dera Murad Jamali, Sohbatpur, Manjopur and Manjoshori are under two to six feet of water while thousands of people are in trouble”,he added.
Sources said that floods had created a precarious situation in Jaffarabad, Sibi and Jhal Magsi where millions of people were compelled to live in open sky while shortage of food and potable water had multiplied the miseries of affectees.
The floods badly damaged highways, Railway tracks, and communication system and government buildings in different parts of Jaffarabad and Naseerabad where all government schools were closed for an indefinite period. “The people are compelled to use floodwater for drinking purpose since they have no alternate which could cause break out of gastro and other epidemic disease,” sources said ,adding, that more than 84 people, including that of women and children had been killed in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Sibi districts during past six days.
Hill torrents coming from Koh-e-Suleman are still continuing which has wreaked havoc in Dera Murad Jamali, Manjo Shori, Dera Allahyar, Subat Pur, Hairdin and other several areas. Pak-Army, Frontier Corps and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) are busy in rescuing marooned people and providing people with relief goods, yet the affectees seem to be unsatisfied with relief activities.
“There are dozens of families in Jaffarabad which have not received relief goods nor has any government official approached them, thus they are moving to other cities”, Aziz Ahmed said.
Health Department officials said that 18 medical camps were set up in flood-hit areas to provide medical aid to the affectees and avert break out of any disease. They said that 10 camps had been set up in Jaffarabad and 10 in Dera Murad Jamali. However, sources said: “more than 30 cases of snake biting have taken place in Jaffarabad and Naseerabad in which two children and women have died while lack of proper food and potable water may cause diseases.”
Unprecedented floods had also badly hit Jaffarabad and Naseerabad districts in 2010 upon which millions of people had been rendered homeless and dozens of people were killed.
“Recent floods in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Dera Bugti have claimed 341 lives besides it has rendered millions of people homeless”, Zahoor Ahmed Shahwani, President Balochistan High Court Bar Association told newsmen while addressing a Press conference.
“Provincial, Federal governments and international organisations are not paying any heed towards huge destruction inflicted by floods in districts of Balochistan”, he added.
Chief Secretary Balochistan admitted that the losses caused by floods in northern and southern Balochistan were so huge that the provincial govt would not be able to cope with the disaster on its own.
“International organisations, Federal government and philanthropists should come forward and help provincial administration in transportation of essential commodities to the flood ravaged region”, he stressed.