PM directs urgent de-watering of flood-hit areas


Reviews flood relief activities in Balochistan; Water-borne diseases could become a significant challenge

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed urgent steps for the de-watering of flood-hit areas in Balochistan to prevent an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

The prime minister issued these instructions during his visit to the flood-hit areas of Sohbatpur as he arrived in Khuzdar district on a day-long visit to review the relief and rehabilitation efforts in the region.

The premier proposed taking on board water engineers and hydrologists to recommend suggestions in line with post-flood studies.

He feared that epidemics and communicable diseases could become a big challenge if the water took months to recede and also directed to ensure the availability of drinking water among the flood-affected people.

Further, the premier said that arrangements for the distribution of seeds to farmers for the next crop season were in progress.

He mentioned that Rs5 billion had been disbursed among flood victims in Balochistan under the Benazir Income Support Programme, as each household was given Rs25,000 to meet its needs.

PM Shehbaz also interacted with patients at medical camps set up for flood victims and inquired about the availability of medicine, including anti-malaria medication.

During a visit to a make-shift school, Shehbaz mingled with the students and assured them that the government would construct a model school equipped with modern facilities for them in two months.

The chief secretary of Balochistan briefed the prime minister on the ongoing relief and rehabilitation activities carried out in the flood-hit areas of the province.

He said heavy machinery was at work to rebuild infrastructure and clear pathways damaged by floods in five districts of Balochistan.

Earlier, Shehbaz Sharif took an aerial view of the inundated areas of Balochistan and Sindh.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif also arrived in Jacobabad to review the ongoing relief and rehabilitation activities in the city and other parts of Balochistan.

The premier took an aerial view of the flood-affected areas bordering Sindh and Balochistan.

The stagnant water in several parts of Sindh has given a rise to diseases such as malaria and dengue. The United Nations has sounded alarm over an impending “second disaster” of disease and death in the province.

In its latest situation report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that during the last week, receding waters were observed, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan.

“In Sindh, water is receding in the districts of Kashmore, Kandhkot, Larkana, Ghotki, Sukkur, Tando Allayar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Tando Mohammad Khan, Umerkot and Sanghar,” the report added.

Based on the observations by the UN Satellite Centre, the floodwater has decreased by around 300sq km in Balochistan, 900sq km in Punjab and 4,000sq km in Sindh.—APP


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