” Natural Disasters and Role of Government”

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Ali Gul Leghari- Johi
After the mega flood of 2010 and heavy rains of 2011, this year once again, the people of Sindh and Balouchistan are under the disaster of heavy monsoon rains with relentless emerging new spells of dangerous clouds and thunderstorm. According to the media reports, nearly hundred people have lost their lives in different incidents caused by rain, 1.5 million people have lost their home, crops and cattle. Almost whole infrastructure has been dilapidated. More unbridled rain is predicated from 23 to 26 August. Chief Minister Sindh, Murad Ali Shah said that this year the rain has fallen 500% more than usual, due to precipitation in all over the province, 23 Districts have been declared calamity-hit areas. He also said that 25 thousand rupees will be disbursed among the beneficiaries registered in BISP program. Today’s modern technology has made it easily accessible for everyone to perceive the weather forecast of today, tomorrow, upcoming weeks, months even a person can easily get the annual information of weather condition just in few clicks on the mobile. Despite such facilities, Sindh Government has completely failed to make any pre-planning for the expected adverses of this natural catastrophe. Alternatively, the people are always warned to secure themselves and their families through a weather forecast notification just couple of days before the occurrence of disaster. In other words, it can be assumed that the notification is issued to alert the people so that they may make necessary arrangements for avoid any uncertainty by themselves. We are cognizant that this year a dangerous spell of monsoon is expected to come, we still wait for it and when the damage is done, we give up everything on prayers only without doing any practical work. Same is doing our Sindh Government. It always give the impression of partaking in collecting the facts and figures caused by calamity-hit yet never takes any practicable initiatives to minimize its vicious outcomes. People who lost their lives, homes cattle and crops each and everything are rushed to take shelter on the brinks of embankments on self help basis. In such conditions, a glimpse of barren smile of their starving and devastated children is only seen while looking up in the sky and seeing a flying helicopter which is used by our CM by taking a selfie in luxurious chopper and posting it on Social media to gain praise and fame . In such critical nick, electronic media and newspapers also seen topped up with solidarity statements with internally displaced people by our MPAs, MNAs including CM. Announcements regarding distribution of non-food items, tents, shelters, food items and cash amount become the headlines of news but unfortunately the ground realities are always contrary to these claims. It doesn’t mean that these announcements are not implemented at all, but their implementation is given under the Deputy Commissioners who fork up some of the received funds and material to the sordid workers of local MNAs and MPAs. Resultantly hardly 10% is given to the deserved and affected people with thousands of photos taken from every angle to get graceful comments on Social media. Rest of the material is bestowed to workers with list of their dearers & nearers, kiths and kins. There is no mechanism for proper survey or distribution neither there is any systematic follow up. Many affected people are also disregarded if politically they belong to opposite parties. Is such conditions, how is it possible to expect the impartiality and transparency from the government? Sindh Government should look into these matter Forthwith. Immediate measures should be taken for the unbiased distribution, revampment and rehabilitation of affected people. First of all Sindh Government should take all possible steps and make pre-planning for the expected disasters in collaboration with federal government, provincial Government should strengthen National and Provincial Disaster Management Department. Through the funding of NDMA and PDMAs, District and Tehsil level community halls should be constructed in hazardous areas so that the affected people may be accommodated and Incentivize with all basic facilities. Such steps will definitely mitigate the damage and distribution of materials can be ensured bonafidely.

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