Last year’s floods in Mirpurkhas, Badin, Umerkot and Sangher left behind a trail of miseries. There was non-stop rainfall for more than one-and-a-half months. The transport system, agriculture production, land fertility, infrastructure, sanitation and water supply system were badly affected. It almost ruined the lives of 98 per cent of the rural and 85 per cent of the urban population.
Bus owners have been charging more than double the fare on the plea that the flood-eroded tracks/roads are constantly damaging their vehicles which frequently need repairs. Several villages still remain disconnected.
Moreover, rising oil prices have added fuel to fire. Although almost eight months have passed, maintenance work is sluggishly initiated. It has also given birth to various waterborne and skin diseases. Thousands of acres are still under water. This has reduced the yield and land fertility. Poor farmers are unable to invest a worthwhile amount in land treatment and sowing seeds.
The field is no more suitable for low-water-content crops.
Additionally, Puran passing from Jhudo is 320-foot-wide but gets 20-foot-wide on the ground. Dhoro having a width of 400 feet is reduced to 25 feet while moving from Naukot. This land is encroached upon and houses are being constructed on it. Apparently, LBOD, Puran and Sim Nullah are separate and should be so till the end, but these are joined a little away from Nabi Sur Morr. The LBOD has a capacity of 4,400 cusecs but 17,500 cusecs released into caused flood and devastation. The government should take steps immediately for the rehabilitation. First, Sim Nullah, Puran Nullah and the LBOD need to be excavated properly and their flow should be separated. Secondly, land encroachment on nullahs should be checked and eliminated. Thirdly, the plan needs to be implemented with transparent utilisation of funds (Watan cards for Rs 20,000 are unequally distributed).
Jhuddo, May 28.