Floods 2012? – drop it! Come on the priority list – let them drown
Floods-drop it! Come on the priority list – let them drown
The horrifying tales of floods’ devastations of 2010 and colossal losses of rains in 2011 are echoing in the minds of the whole nation when a news fell like a bomb on the ears that country would going to receive five to 15 per cent extra monsoon rains this year due to global climate change, with authorities concerned not having any contingency plan to deal with the expected displacement of millions of people by flash floods and inundation of the low-lying areas on the river banks across the country.
The admission by the National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Zafar Iqbal added to the worries that the precautionary measures taken by the government to cope with the expected floods across the country are not satisfactory and could plunge the country into another catastrophic situation with more human losses and mass displacement of people living along the river banks and loss to cattle heads, standing crops and buildup structures in the vulnerable areas, where the people have not so far recovered from the losses inflicted by the unprecedented floods in 2010 and rains devastations in last year.
The weather pundits are predicting more rains in coming monsoon, which is expected to have early start by next week or so, while the excess snowfall which remain in progress until second week of June has also rang alarm bells, as with a little rise in temperature in next few days in the upper parts of the country snow would start melting bringing extra water in the rivers.
According to statistics of NDMA the 2010 floods had caused enormous damage to human life, cattle heads, standing crops and infrastructure across the country. In all some 4500 places the rivers and canal banks were breached across the country and according to the available data all theses breaches were not fully repaired and a little more rains this year would play havoc with the lives and property of the people living along the river in low lying areas.
According to the data the areas, which are marked as more vulnerable in case of flash floods and heaving rains included Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Khushab, Sargodha, Muzaffaragarh, Layyah, Rajanpur, Rahimyar Khan and large area of Sindh on both sides of River Indus.
The civil society bodies working on the rehabilitation work in flood-devastated areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, Punjab and Sindh said that the people of these areas had not recovered from the damage caused by the 2010 floods and in case if they fell victim to another natural catastrophe the fallout would be horrendous both for these people and the nation as a whole, because the country was already facing the worst economic meltdown.
It is beyond comprehension that why the government had not taken some corrective measures on war-footing to meet with such calamities or at least minimizes its impact on the vulnerable areas.
The environmentalists and social workers operating in the floods and rains devastated areas since the 2010 floods are of the view that the measures to mitigate the floods and rains affects is nowhere on the priority list of the rulers sitting in Islamabad or the provincial capitals, and all what they did is shift responsibility on each other but this blame game would definitely not change the ground realities and if there are excess rains nobody could stop the people from drowning.
An environmentalist commenting on the last years unprecedented rains, which inundated most parts of the Sindh province right from Badin down to Sukkur, Nawabshah and other adjoining districts, said that it was pointed out by experts that the Sindh Government had blocked the natural waterways flushing out water from the plains of the Sindh down to rivers and finally to the Arabian Sea but till to-date no step was taken either by the NDMA, Sindh Government or other concerned departments to open these waterways to avert such a disaster in future.