KARACHI – Following the forecast warning of heavy rainfall and floods during this year’s monsoon, the Sindh government on Friday cautioned the departments to be more vigilant to carry out timely rescue and relief works, besides taking precautionary measures to minimise the losses.
The National Disaster Management Authority meanwhile asked the provinces to stump up Rs20 billion for pre-monsoon steps, warning them of the possibility of vast flood-related devastation. Shaikh said the Sindh government would its share of Rs5 billion and would spend more funds from outside of the budget, if needed.
“The government has established a net of 50 volunteers at each district to respond to the unforeseeable situation,” Shaikh said as he invited the youths to step forward and register themselves as volunteer with the deputy commissioner offices in their districts.
The adviser further said that foreign donors had also been approached for their assistance during relief operation.
In the 2010 floods, the contribution of international aid agencies in the relief works was 80 per cent.
However, their response drastically declined to 46 per cent during the heavy rainfall in 2011. About the breach in Rohri Canal, the adviser said it occurred on May 14 and inundated around thirty villages, and caused widespread havoc in surroundings areas.
The breach, which was manmade, displaced about 11,200 people, and submerged large swathes spanning over 16,000 acres.
The adviser claimed that the commissioner Hyderabad, local administration and irrigation secretary immediately reached the site and monitored the work of plugging, adding that the relief department in response to the incident wasted no time and came to rescue of the victims of the incident well on time. It established five relief camps for affected people.
“An investigation into the breach is in progress. Severe action will be taken against negligent officers,” concluded Shaikh.