The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Monday released Rs 8 million to the Deputy Commissioners of Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Kech, Sibi, Loralai, Quetta, Khuzdar to ensure prompt response to the catastrophe which has left thousands of people homeless. The heavy rains followed by flashflood have inundated several villages in Jhal Magsi district creating hurdles for relief teams to reach rain-victims.
According to Director General, PDMA Khalid Baloch, relief activities in the flood-battered areas are being carried out on war footing. The Director General while referring latest reports reaching from affected areas said floods caused by torrential rains has killed 13 people so far in parts of the province leaving dozens others injured. The Khalid Baloch further said that The rains hampered the rescue efforts of the government, he said adding, however food consignments through Notal were being dispatched to the Gandawa, Jhal Magsi and other affected regions. It was noted that four helicopters carrying three tons of food had left for Notal while four trucks carrying hundreds of food packets left Quetta for Notal relief headquarter. According to the PDMA officials around 900 food packets from Sibi, 900 from Naseerabad and 400 from Jaffarabad were also dispatched to Notal.
There is a serious threat of outbreak of epidemic in the flood hit areas in Balochistan. Mainly, in Jafarabad and Nsirabad which have plain lands and water stays for months there. These cause number of diseases in the area where dead animals pose a serious threat to human life. No doubt, the Provincial Health Department is not able to do all the relief activities but the international organization need to initiate relief assistance in flood hit areas. Although, PDMA has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist government in provision of medicines to the affectees, it has not been done yet because PDMA has not allowed the local and international organizations to assist in affected distracts. Delay in the relief activities will cause great suffering including water borne diseases, eye diseases and skin diseases in the flood affected region.
Currently, thousands of people are confronted with lack of food, health facilities, water and sanitation. The people are compelled to drink contaminated water and live without shelter. The hot weather and torrential rain does not let them live smoothly. People are staying on the ground with no shelter.
The released funds should be utilized for the support of flood victims, and PDMA which always tries to do the operation work with the support of its staff, should allow international and local organizations to assist communities because international organizations and local NGOs can work greatly rather than government institutions. In this situation, the government and relief organizations should at least make sure that the flood and rain victims do not live in a situation which makes them vulnerable to more diseases and hazards
The Balochistan Point
Published in The Balochistan Point on August 6, 2013