Flooding and rescue planning


Why does it happen every time that the rainy season catches governments – federal, provincial and local – napping and leaves a trail of death and destruction? The fresh spell of torrential rains has created a flood-like situation in 15 districts of Balochistan, leaving them cut off from the remaining parts of the province. Besides human loss, the spell has wreaked havoc on communication means as road link between Quetta and other areas of the country has been suspended after some bridges were damaged at the national highways. This speaks volume to the quality of the construction work done on national highways. The provincial government must initiate a probe into the construction quality of roads and bridges. Of the 15 districts badly-hit in the rains, the most affected districts are Nasirabad, Sibi, Bolan and Jhal Magsi where thousands of people in over 300 villages have been stranded. And not to mention the lack of relief work in these districts. Hundreds of cattle have also been swept away by the floodwater in Kachhi, Sibi and Bolan districts. Now, the army has been called out to provide relief and rescue in the flooded districts. Like Balochistan, the Sindh government has also been caught napping in the flood and rain season as the Kachho area of Dadu district has been cut off from the rest of the country and now army teams have launched rescue operations. No one can fight Mother Nature’s fury but in the age of weather forecast and better technology, we can put up a plan to combat natural disasters. The Sindh Disaster Management Authority has yet to reach the disaster-hot areas to carry out rescue and relief operations. More rain will hit the provinces but in the first, the departments must restore traffic between Quetta and other parts of the country. The Met office has forecast more rains in different areas of Balochistan. The fresh spell has battered Balochistan in the last two days with 246mm rain.
Away from interior Sindh and Balochistan, where the national media has least outreach and interest, all eyes are always focused on the urban parts of Sindh. When it rains in Karachi and Sindh and rainwater takes time to drain out, media and courts besides politicians show extra energy to address the issue. It is time that all parts of Pakistan be given equal attention in terms of funds allocation and preparation to meet eventualities.