The smell of the wet mud, the splitter-splatter of the water droplets, the cloudy skies, and the cool wind on your face, there is something about rains that can turn everything around us mesmerizing. Rains are a gift from nature to the world that not only beautifies everything around us but also transports us into a sense of peace and tranquility. But as we know that a coin has two sides so dose the nature has.
Where it is so magnificent and so giving it also has another face which the people of Pakistan is quite aware of and the time I am referring to is the time of monsoon rains. On July 03 the record of rainfall broke. Though it was said to be pre-monsoon cycle but it caused a lot of damage to the Lahore city and its surrounding. A total of 252 millimeters of rain has been recorded in the city within 24 hours which converted the streets of Lahore into the canals of Venice.The massive rainfall caused a serious damage to the infrastructure of Lahore city and the people of Lahore as well. Many people lost their lives, the electricity system was badly damaged and the traffic was critically distorted.
People lost lives due to roof collapse andelectrocution. The rainfall added fuel to fire when 150 electricity feeders tripping in the city, plunging different areas of the city into darkness. Moreover, the flow of traffic was severely affected as water accumulated in low-lying areas.
But all these happenings are not new. Almost every year such turmoil situation came where everything gets disturb due to heavy rainfall. The major cause of damage caused by pre-monsoon is due to the Pakistan metrological departments (PMD’s) outdated early warning systems. Recently,government has allocated Rs100 million for upgrading the early warning system of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) under the Public Sector Development Program 2017-18.
This new scheme of the Aviation Division’s is estimated worth Rs19.2 billionfor upgrading the warning systems. It is indeed the need of the hour to start this project as with each passing year the impact of climate change will continue to worsen.This time the good fortune of Lahore is commendable manoeuver taken by current caretaker government who swiftly sprang into action when the city was in dismay. From the streets of Gulberg to the streets of Shadmanmultiple WASA tanks were deployed in order to clear the streets and dispensed the polluted and contaminated water back into the sewage ofLahore.
The damage was not only restricted to infrastructure but took a tool on the health of minors and elderly. The polluted water brought the high risk of growth of dengue larva. Moreover in such flood many other dangerous risks were present like biting of snakes or dogs. Caretaker government efficiently took various steps to tackle this situation.Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare made dengue control in their top priorities. Department has adopted zero tolerance policy on dengue surveillance and case response. Due to pre-monsoon rainfall, some districts have strong possibilities in growth of dengue larva, so departments ensured larva surveillance activities. Field Officers are directed to remain alert and complete their preparations regarding dengue and expected flood.
Frequent supply of medicines or logistics has been madeand mock exercises of medical relief activities in all districtswereheld.Regarding flood and monsoon rains Dr. Hassan Askariand his cabinet efforts were commendable and have shown how to tackle the problems caused by floods and rains in Lahore. Interim government created department for rescue and relief that worked for 24/7.
For this purpose interim government gave 854 boats, 17968 life jackets, 4050 life rings, 1437 de-watering sets, 48799 tents, 21620 blankets, 52 boat trollies, 30 generators, 49939 plastic mats and 43226 mosquitonets that have been stocked. Field officers completed their preparedness regarding flood related relief activities.Secretary PSHD ensuredthe availability of all essential medicines, especially anti-snake venom, anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) and other important vaccines. The caretaker government made it clear that their major concerns about health and that we can saw in their precautions measurements.
According to a report of health department as many as 1267 fixed and mobile teams, consist upon a doctor lady health visitor vaccinator and support staff to provide relief to the Public, and also issue direction to link up Medical Colleges with high risk flood districts so that senior doctors can also participate in relief activities when needed.
While reviewing the dengue control initiatives, awareness campaign had been conducted regarding dengue prevention. Citizens were requested to call toll free health line 0800-99000for dengue related information. All the Larva Surveillance activities were strictly monitored and ensure case response.Health secretary told that medicine related to dengue and flood is available in sufficient quantity in all districts and department will utilize all his resourcesto deal with any emergency situation.
We all are well aware that floods are among earth’s most common, and most destructive, natural hazards and it’s a nation’s mutual responsibility to fight back together. It is not only the government’s responsibility to deal with such natural destruction but also the responsibility of the citizens of a country.
Where government is taking serious initiatives to save citizens from flood and damage people should also understand and follow the guidelines prescribed by government to avoid damage. People should turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
Disconnect electrical appliances. Should stay at home and avoid going out unnecessarily.If in any circumstance you have to go out avoid walking through moving water. As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall.
Be careful and walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. People should not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. These safety precautions are for the good will of people. And being a responsible citizen we all should have follow these precautions to save our precious lives.
Nature has no race or caste it is equal for all of us. We may cherish alone when it’s subtle and calm but we should be together in the hour of need when nature is at its peak. We should maintain the harmony that nation showed on 8th of October 2005. When the earthquake hit the northern areas of Pakistan people helped and rescued each other without any personal benefits. Nation stood together back in 2005 and helped each other; so we should maintain the standards and help each other in every difficult situation. That’s how the strong nations build up and that’s how the faith in humanity resorts.