AFTER massive devastations in Chitral and parts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Punjab, the floods have entered Sindh where Guddu and Sukkur barrages recorded high flood and 95% of the low-lying areas have beensubmerged. Punjab is likely to witness another wave of floods as India has started releasing water in river Sutlaj.
Floods in Pakistan have become an annual feature during the Monsoon season and their severity is increasing due to erratic weather phenomenon in the wake of global warming. Melting of glaciers was a major cause of devastating floods in Chitral this year and the authorities were incapable of dealing with the deluge. The National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan Army and the civil administration have been doing their best but the infrastructure has been destroyed in most of the flood affected areas making it difficult to reach the marooned people. Temporary measures to mitigate the sufferings apart, effective and long lasting steps are needed to avoid losses of billions of rupees in addition to precious human lives. Though natural calamities cannot be predicted but their impact could be reduced if there is proper planning and resources are judiciously utilized. We are sorry to point out that in the first instance budgetary allocations are not made for annual repair and strengthening of embankments of rivers and nullahs and what ever amount is provided, that is either not released by the Finance Departments or misappropriated by the concerned departments. Another reason is encroachments all over the country leaving little space in water courses to cope with flood waters. Therefore, there is need that the concerned Ministries and departments must devise strategies to reduce the floods devastations. In the meantime we would recommend construction of small dams in the catchment areas, strengthening of the embankments of rivers and nullahs on annul basis and a massive operation to remove encroachments as that would help reduce losses to some extent.
Country Wide Devastations by Floods