Essentially, recurrent floods can safely be termed a manmade disaster. Without any doubt, Pakistan is a water-stressed country. Imagine the water management and irrigation infrastructure had been improved to safely drain the flood water, that natural waterways have been cleared and stone patched, that small water reservoirs have been constructed, that ruling politicians hadn’t assumed the role of irrigation engineers and desisted from creating barriers in the natural flow of flood water in Sindh. Then the flood has not wreaked havoc on the present scale.

This time, the Sindh government has broken all records of inefficiency, inaction, negligence and callousness. in the wake of the 1995 and 2010 floods, local administration repeatedly issued warning to people to shift to safer places. Those who did not shift were shifted or rescued to well establish relief camps. But this time, the politician in Larkana, Qambershdadkot, Mehar, KN Shah and Johi used all their might to hinder the natural flow of the flood water. The CM Sindh squarely ignored the saner voices to release water from Manchar Lake to the Indus River at the initial stage when Indus was at its lowest. Now Indus is refusing to take flood water.

Furthermore, as the flood water was playing with the lives and livelihood of the poorest of the poor, the district administration and elected representatives at Dadu district were nowhere to be seen. Marooned people were and still are suffering hunger, heat, unhygienic condition, privacy and dehydration. The CM did nothing save occasionally hovering through a helicopter.

Local religious leaders and some politicians never hesitated from rubbing salt on the bruised soul of the poor effaced by manmade induced calamity by saying that this is punishment for sinful. The list of sins included not offering regular prayers or women of the poor peasant, labour not observing proper perdah. They forget that majority of the ultra-rich including the present stock of ruling politicians in cities despite hardly offering prayer and committing the greatest sins of exacerbating such kind of disaster find their mansions and malls untouched by the disaster

Structural imbalances are at the heart of the collapsing government structure. The politicians come to power not to serve the proverbial public but extract a pound of flesh from all schemes and projects.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi.