Misery of flood victims

The Sindh government and the elected representatives from Dadu seem oblivious to the plight of flood-affected people. The entire province has been facing massive floods, and the situation has become worse with the mixing of sewage with rainwater. People in urban areas are in a much better position as they have access to roads, howsoever battered they may well be, but they keep complaining about the quality of roads and the national media gives such issues hyped-up coverage. What about the rural areas where homes and livelihoods have been swept away?

In Dadu, the highly vulnerable population in remote areas need immediate support in terms of rescue and relief, and that is nowhere in sight. With the first rain shower that was followed by torrential stream flow in mid-July, the poorly constructed and already damaged road and irrigation infrastructure got washed away in Kacha area of Dadu.

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The district government’s effort, as usual, was a case of doing too little too late. According to the local deputy commissioner, 1,000 affected families have been provided food ration and tents. That is wonderful, but what about the remaining 28,000 families who have been left to fend for themselves?

Heavy rains on Aug 18 and 19 resulted in the collapse of almost all mud houses in the area. Gastroenteritis has already consumed scores of lives. One of the main reasons for flood devastation caused in Kacha area is the substandard construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Accommodating favourites in awarding infrastructure contracts can be termed a crime against humanity because due to peculiar topography of Kacha area, even boats cannot reach most remote villages as they get stuck in sand dunes, or even trees that are hidden beneath floodwater.

Helicopter service is the only thing that can be effective, but, obviously, such facilities are meant for the high and mighty of the land; not for people in remote villages. Now that the rescue and relief operations have been initiated by the government, its agencies as well as by humanitarian organisations and philanthropists, it will take several days before anybody can reach the affected families in those villages.



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