Thousands eyeing water, food, shelter as rains continues in lower Sindh

BADIN/MIRPURKHAS: Thousands of people displaced by recent sweeping rains in lower Sindh are still looking for help near their inundated villages in Badin and Mirpurkhas districts.

Similar reports are coming from low-lying areas of Jhudo and Dighri, Mirpur Khas district where breaches in Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) and other small drains due to heavy rain on Sunday hit hard to around 150,000 population, leaving them in vulnerable situation, only in one district. The LBOD breached from RD 277, between Notkani and Kot Mir Jan Mohammad has inundated more than 50 villages and several small towns.

“My relatives with thousands others in Pangrio town and adjacent areas are facing horrible situation as they could not come as water encircled their areas,” Prof Ismail Kumbhar of Agriculture University, Tando Jam told our sources.

“It is a manmade disaster that the LBOD alone breached from 40 points. Water is flowing because the drains are receiving canal waters due to mismanagement on the part of Irrigation Department, which could not keep an eye over the situation even in disastrous rains,” he said.

“Farmers and other families have gone 10 years back in terms of economics. These people will not receive electricity for long time. There is need of immediate response to rehabilitate the people,” Prof Kumbhar, who has conducted several surveys of these water resources in the area, said.

All the villages and towns including Jhudo Sharif, Pangrio, Malkani Sharif, Mubarak Arain, Saman Sarkar Shrine, Dighri and others have been inundated and nobody has come for the rescue there, he said. Another Bahadur Wah (canal) breached between Golarchi and Khorwah affected crops of wide area and villages.

Rainwater has destroyed wide area in Badin, Thatta, Mirpur Khas and Tharparkar districts forcing people to shift to safer places but due to road damages in many areas, majority of the families could not move and living at banks of canals and mounds near there looking for help.

The families who could not move towards towns are herdsmen, have a valid reason as where to shift their herds. A herdsman Hameer Nohani of Nao Kot says a disease hit livestock in which he lost his three buffaloes and feared more loss. He said despite their cry nobody from the authorities have come for their rescue.

Badin district received 400mm rain on Wednesday and Thursday which destroyed crops and houses completely in 500 villages. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has already declared Badin district as calamity-hit and announced help.

But the local activists say that these people might be living in camps, which are registered with the government, while hundreds of families are still stranded in far off areas, who do not have access to food and safe water. However, the new drain damages have created alarming situation for the people in the affected areas. government figures show that they have accommodated 37,000 families in government schools. But the reports said hundreds of families are in helpless condition, needing food, safe water.

There are forecast of more rains in these areas and families are living in trouble. District government Badin figures show that the provincial government has allocated Rs50 million and approaching UN agencies to respond immediately for the help.

At present, the district government has arranged cooked food for the displaced persons for three days.

About the author

Saleem Shaikh

The writer is a development journalist. He writes on water, sanitation, environment, climate change, agriculture, women development, human rights, education, health, development budgets and economy.

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