Floods: government's indifference -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Floods: government’s indifference

By: RIAZ AKBAR

THIS refers to news report (Sept 23) wherein flood caused Rs18 billion loss in Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts in Balochistan. This shows the apathy of the provincial government and the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA).

The provincial government ignores allocation of funds for floods even after having bitter experiences in the last three years. We could have averted this disaster if we had strengthened embankments/dykes of the two main canals before the monsoon. There is no logic in visiting areas after floods which have caused a loss to farmers and growers to the tune of Rs18 billion.

The other affected province is Sindh whose six districts are badly affected. I wonder why provinces failed to allocate sufficient funds prior to the monsoon. Lack of coordination is seen at every level whether it is the District Disaster Management Authority or the PDMA. Availability of funds only served the purpose in provisioning of food and tents to the flood victims.

I appeal to all authorities concerned to take necessary steps prior to the monsoon. Availability of dewatering machines must be provided to DCOs/DCs before the monsoon.

The irrigation department of each province must take preventive measures for strengthening of dykes of canals and rivers before the monsoon sets in. It is a futile exercise if we take steps after floods.

I am sure that a loss of Rs18 billion could have been minimised to the lowest limit through timely actions. Water storage in Balochistan is urgently needed so that excessive floodwater does not reach Sindh and cause havoc there.

There is also a need to raise this issue at the Council of Common Interest so that a joint mechanism can be evolved to counter floods.

Dawn