President orders rehabilitation in flood-hit areas
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari on Wednesday directed the departments concerned of the federal and provincial governments to expedite relief and rehabilitation activities for the flood-affected people of Sindh and Balochistan.
He also directed for removal of the inundated areas by utilising all available resources in view of fast approaching winter season. The president also asked for urgently providing wheat and sunflower seeds and fertilisers to the farmers in flood-affected areas in all provinces.
He said this during an interactive session with the officials concerned and the local representatives of the affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan through video-conferencing facility at a specially set up monitoring cell at the Presidency.
President’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said that NDMA Chairman Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir briefed the participants about overall situation focusing on the damages caused by the heavy downpour in various parts of the country especially in various districts of Sindh and Balochistan and the status of relief and rehabilitation measures taken thus far.
The chairman said that the heavy downpour affected more than 12,000 villages in Sindh affecting around 245,000 acres of crops besides heavy losses in cattle heads. In Balochistan, he said, the rains affected more than 750 villages affecting 402,535 acres of crops and destroying over seven thousand cattle heads.
Providing detailed account of relief measures taken so far for the affected people, NDMA Chairman informed that 14,000 tents in Sindh and 20,000 tents were distributed in Balochistan to the affected families besides other parts of the country.
The chairman said that the situation arising in Sindh due to the heavy rains was further aggravated by the run-off from Balochistan. He said that irrigation system of Desert Pat Feeder along Sindh Balochistan border was over-topped and breached at several places. Similarly Begari Sindh Feeder was also affected. To cope with the situation, Kirthar Branch was strengthened to serve as defence line and to divert water towards Hairdin Drain, he informed the meeting. The chairman said that at present 69 dewatering pumps were operative to remove rainwater through various canals whereas eleven pumps were in standby in Sukkur. He said that further arrangements would be made in view of the emergent situation. The meeting was informed that in Ghotki district, 30 pumps of district government are also installed by the irrigation department.
The meeting was informed that of 800,000 acres inundated area, more than 600,000 acres has been dewatered. The meeting was told that 161,245 ration packs have been distributed in Sindh, 17500 in Punjab and 42250 in Balochistan.
The president also interacted with the government officials and representatives of the affected areas in Sindh through video-conferencing inquiring from them the latest situation and the issues being encountered.
The districts toured today included Jacobabad, Larkana, Shikarpur, Shahdadkot and Kashmore. The president directed all the officials concerned to expedite relief efforts and to submit regular progress reports to the Presidency. Zardari directed that similar video conferencing facility be set up in the affected areas in Balochistan and linked with the Presidency for hands on briefing.