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Sunday, March 03, 2024  
22 Shaban 1445  

Sindh’s flood-hit people may have to endure more

Rain water drainage can take three to six months, says Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah; Dadu at risk, Jhal Magsi awaits aid despite two months on
Residents use boats as they travel to their flooded villages, following rains and floods on the outskirts of Sehwan on September 8. Reuters/File
Residents use boats as they travel to their flooded villages, following rains and floods on the outskirts of Sehwan on September 8. Reuters/File
Dadu in danger - Flood emergency announced | latest situation | Aaj News

DADU/JHAL MAGSI: Sindh’s flood-affected people may suffer well into winter as it could take three to six months for the government to drain the rainwater.

“More than 10 million people have been displaced in Sindh,” Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told reporters after offering prayers and laying a floral wreath at the Quaid-i-Azam’s tomb in Karachi on the 74th death anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

“A bigger humanity crisis has emerged in Sindh,” he said as the rising water level in Manchar Lake threatens Dadu and Jamshoro districts.

This image shows floodwaters in Dadu on Saturday.
This image shows floodwaters in Dadu on Saturday.

Sindh’s flood at a glance

  • 33 million people affected
  • Around 1,500 killed
  • Millions of acres of land damaged
  • Farmers community suffered around Rs3,500 billion in losses
  • 1.25 million to 1.5 million of cotton completely destroyed
  • Livestock owners suffered at least Rs50 billion in losses
  • Left bank from Sukkur, Khairpur to Tharparkar was completely damaged

Floodwaters turned to Dadu after cracks appeared in Pir Shakh and Sim nullah despite the provincial administration’s attempt to allay water pressure by making more cuts in the lake. Several villages of UC Yar Muhammad have been inundated. An option to make a ring dyke in the district to save populations was under consideration.

An excavator makes cut in the lake.
An excavator makes cut in the lake.

The government has so far shifted at least 18,000 people to Karachi. Sindh CM Murad has vowed “not to rest” until the restoration of flood victims.

He quoted United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s term “climate carnage” to describe the situation in the province. The developed world has to pitch in to support Pakistan in this situation.

There were still places in Sindh where eight to 10 feet of water was standing.

“We have made a programme to rehabilitate people. Efforts are afoot to give Rabi crops. And, we have to further improve our irrigation and drainage network,” he said to a query on lessons learnt from the flood situation. The FP dyke was increased by 6ft after the 2010 floods, however, such rains breached the level.

CM Murad added that more than 10% of rainfall was recorded in the province during the monsoon season. “Around 1,763% rains were recorded in Patidan, which has an average downpour of 80mm.”

He stressed the need for protecting the environment in order to alleviate climate change disasters. “So far, we have not reached the required amount of 200,000 tents in Sindh despite united efforts of government, NDMA, armed forces and foreign aid.”

CM Murad said the government has planned to evacuate 75% of the area of wheat production by November and December as sowing would start next month. There were different varieties of staple crop. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had warned of “bleak spring” if the provincial government was not able to start wheat farming by mid-October.

Jhal Magsi awaits relief

The people in Balochistan’s Jhal Magsi area, Kotra, were still dealing with a shortage of food and medicines despite the passage of two months. They claimed that no one has reached them.

A large number of mud houses collapsed due to floods driven by heavy rains in Kotra and surrounding areas. The land route to Kotra, Kambi, Pir Noorani Ghatra, and Khuzdar district’s Kharzan has been cut off from district headquarter Gandawa and other areas due to the lack of a bridge near the Mula river.

The closure of the route has also led to an outbreak of diseases.

The people have appealed to the government to restore the track and provide relief to them.

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