Stagnant flood water, lack of clean drinking water pose serious problems to residents of Umerkot district

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By GR Junejo

Umerkot:   Umerkot district is still facing stagnant flood water issue, it is impossible to sow the winter crops in seven union councils, safe water, and winterization kits provision is a dire need of area; expressed by a delegation comprised over District Administration and Civil Society representatives during visiting the flood affected area of Tehsil Samaro of district Umerkot.

Safe drinking water along the other WASH assistance is most priority need of a flood affected area expressed by Engineer Rewachand and Engineer Zahid Qaimkhani from Public Health Engineering Department Umerkot visited the flood response area of an AWARE project funded by PHPF in Tehsil Samaro to discuss and monitor ongoing activities in five union councils. Engr Rewachand said that AWARE mobile Filtration Unit service is the unique model in our region which is providing safe purified water at the door step of flood-affected peoples, and appreciated the work.

Damro a social activist shared that, “most parts of the Samaro tehsil and two union councils of Kunri tehsil are still surrounded by floodwater and not receding because the area is low lying and water flow from Sanghar district area is also passing through, so this is not possible to cultivate winter crops in our area”.

Atta Bajeer, CSO representative appreciated the efforts taken by different Govt departments and NGOs in responding to the flood situation. He also briefed that AWARE is conducting safe drinking water provision, sanitation, and hygiene activities under the PHPF funded project.

Bakhtawar a woman activist shared that, in this difficult time, the efforts are being taken by AWARE along with UNOCHA to help the flood-affected IDPs and it is really commendable to work on important issues such as water and sanitation. “The biggest problem for homeless people during the flood is the lack of clean water which can lead to many water-borne diseases,” he said. In flood-affected camps or an area most vulnerable people i.e. old age persons with different abilities, and pregnant women) are suffering more due to the unavailability of household-level latrine and safe drinking water at the door-step. So, all designed activities are commendable because this project is serving the neediest people in IDPs camps.

Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director of AWARE Ali Akbar Rahimoon said that in September 2020, the Chief Minister of Sindh visited Samaro Tehsil and along with the Govt support he invited the UN to work in most needy areas, so UNOCHA initiated a WASH response through AWARE for 5000 families of five union councils of tehsil Samaro. Besides that AWARE has also provided the people with filtration mobile units, water tankers, water purification tablets and we are conducting awareness sessions as well as providing safety kits to get protected from COVID-19, so far 128 villages are covered.

PyaroRajar, a community representative identified the risk of falling winter cold and its affects. He demanded that winterization kits be provided along with safe drinking water because the water will take more than eight months to recede completely.

The delegation observed the ongoing activities of AWARE and other stakeholders in the flood-affected areas. The community on the occasion also thanked the UNOCHA and AWARE of their efforts and reaching out to needy people on time.