SWADO editor’s note: Here is a compilation of newspaper reports from the last two days (27-28 July 2010) which points towards the intensity of suffering facing the flood affected people of the Saraiki area including but not limited to Dera Ghazi Khan (Rajanpur), Bhakkar and Dera Ismail Khan. Rajanpur District seems to be the most affected area where people have not only lost their loved ones but also their homes, crops and are deprived of very basic necessities such as flour (atta). The Khadim-e-Aala of Lahore Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is indeed more interested in the corridors of politics in the GHQ (Rawalpindi) and the Takht-e-Lahore instead of serving the very people who he claims to represent and serve. (Abdul Nishapuri)
(Dajal is one of rural area of tehsil Jampur of District Rajanpur. 2009)
Rajanpur’s flood victims term relief activities eyewash; ask CM to visit calamity-hit areas
DERA GHAZI KHAN: The dilapidated link roads in the flood-hit Rajanpur district have made the life of villagers miserable, especially in the areas affected by hill torrents.
The public transport has been suspended on most of routes even after five days of the flash flood in Kaha Sultan hill torrent which broke the 20-year record. The number of people getting treatment from medical camps is very low because they have been established in localities far away from the flood-hit areas. Owing to the medical camps in remote areas, four of a family could not get the snakebite vaccine at Basti Punno Chang village, Rajanpur.
Victims are staying in the open sky on the embankment of a field which is filled by water everywhere. A majority of hill torrent victims has left their areas amid fears of another rainy spell. DG Khan Commissioner Hassan Iqbal has asked the affectees to shift themselves to safer places in case of expected rains while the administration is also rescuing and shifting the families.
The flood victims alleged that they were being ignored and Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif had not visited the area. They said that officials engaged in relief operations were not performing their duties carefully.
They said that the parliamentarians, including MNAs and MPAs, did not bother to streamline and supervise the relief activities as most of them were staying in Lahore and Islamabad. They asked the chief minister to visit the flood affected areas. “The situation would have been different had the chief minister visited the calamity-hit areas.” They alleged that the district government was not capable of handling the disaster-like situation. They said the officials were carrying out relief activities in the hill torrent area to show performance to their high-ups, but practically nothing was being done. (Source: The News, 28 July 2010)
In Rajanpur, the flood-hit areas have been cut off from the rest of the country, as rain water overwhelmed roads and rail lines.
Relief Operation Director General Rizwan Baig said that at least 700 to 800 people were still trapped in floodwaters and about 15,000 families had became homeless in the area. He said crops cultivated on 17,000 acres had been destroyed. For the 30,000 affected people in Rajanpur, the Punjab government has so far only sent 50 flour bags and 80 tents.
Hajipur, Fazilpur, Muhammadpur Dewan, Dajal and Harrand are the worst hit areas, where 70 villages have been inundated, while 100,000 people have been rendered homeless. In Rawalpindi and Islamabad, low-lying areas have been submerged due to torrential rains. (Source: Daily Times, 28 July 2010)
Floods cut off Rajanpur from rest of country
RAJANPUR—The flood-hit areas of Rajanpur were left disconnected from rest of the country since seven days after torrential rains and floods cut off all the land routs.
Several people stranded as floodwaters still accumulated in towns and villages. DG Relief Riawan Baig told Geo News that at least 700 to 800 people are still stranded in floodwaters and 15,000 families became homeless. He said Kharif crops cultivated at 17,000 acres have been destroyed, however, relief activities from government of Punjab underway. A committee is also constituted for the assessment of the losses. (Source: Daily Mail News)
Police, flood affectees in Rajanpur clash over bags of Atta
RAJANPUR: Clashes erupted here between police and flood affectees when only 50 bags of Ata were brought for more than 30,000 affectees here on Tuesday.
Heavy rains and floods had inundated Rajanpur and destroyed fields over 3 lac acre.
According to the administration, over 72 villages located between Head Khanki and Head Qadirabad are presently at risk of being flooded as passing floods are steadily becoming stronger with the addition of more water.
The flood-hit people, under open skies are waiting for aid, where they are facing shortage of medicines, potable water and eatables.
On Tuesday the clashes between the police and affectees of Rajanpur flood occurred when the Punjab government sent only 50 bags of Atta for more than 30,000 people.
The police pushed, slapped and baton charged affectees who were trying to receive the Atta bag.
The 18 sub-districts of Ferozpur and Rajanpur have been destroyed in the flood.
The flood affected and food starved residents of the area said that the government of Punjab had sent only 50 bags of Atta to deceive the media that affectees are being provided aid.
However talking to media DCO Rajanpur Mian Iftikhar Rasol denied the reports of police baton charge and said that brawl between the police and affectees occurred because the affectees were pushing and thrashing each other. He said that there is no lack of Atta and all affectees would be given atta bags. He said that compensation would be given to those who have lost their fields in the flood. (Source: Online News)
Floods cutoff Rajanpur from rest of country
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
RAJANPUR: The flood-hit areas of Rajanpur were left disconnected from rest of the country since seven days after torrential rains and floods cut off all the land routs.
Several people stranded as floodwaters still accumulated in towns and villages. DG Relief Riawan Baig told Geo News that at least 700 to 800 people are still stranded in floodwaters and 15,000 families became homeless.
He said Kharif crops cultivated at 17,000 acres have been destroyed, however, relief activities from government of Punjab underway. A committee is also constituted for the assessment of the losses. (Source: Geo News, 27 July 2010)
Nine Rajanpur areas flooded as 2 dykes breach
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
RAJANPUR: Two protective embankments breached in Rajanpur, giving way to water that submerged 9 localities while water overflow from Chinab River washed away ready crops.
Efforts are underway to shift people to safer places, as large number stranded people across the affected area are awaiting help.
Two dykes, Dhandi and Qutub, developed leakages with water pressure resulting in the flooding of 9 localities in Rajanpur.
Many people with nothing to eat and drink continue to remain stranded for the past six days in Pano Chang area where four people including a woman are battling for their lives after being bit by snakes.
The flood victims demanded of the government to provide them with a boat to move out from the affected area and to get medical aid to the people bit by snakes. (Source: The News, 27 July 2010)
Rajanpur’s flood-hit people still await relief
From Hasnain Qaisrani
DERA GHAZI KHAN: The Rajanpur district administration could not provide relief to a majority of flood-hit people due to limited resources while the outbreak of human and livestock diseases is being feared due to accumulation of flood water in the plain and foothill areas.
The Rajanpur’s most affected areas are Hajipur, Fazilpur, Muhammadpur Dewan, Dajal and Harrand where the flood badly devastated standing crops and inundated over 70 villages, leaving over 100,000 people homeless. The Rajanpur district administration has conducted its preliminary survey to assess the losses and recommendations would be submitted to the Punjab government for compensation for the flood-hit community. Talking to The News, Dera Ghazi Khan Commissioner Hassan Iqbal said that the relief operation was being carried out with the available resources.
He said that the losses would be assessed in a couple of days while a project for the construction of concrete structures on Kaha hill torrent had been started, but its completion depended on the availability of funds and favourable weather conditions. He said that they were facing shortage of staff to asses the losses in the flood-affected areas. He added that the divisional and the district administration was assisting the Irrigation and Power Department for the project aimed at stopping the damages at a large scale and use water for the irrigation purposes. The Health Department claimed that 10 medical camps were working in the flood-hit areas where the masses were being treated by the medical officers having a huge stock of medicines. However, it has been observed that medical camps have been set up in safe areas where hill torrents did not cause devastation to show performance while flood-hit areas have been ignored.
Meanwhile, the power supply could not be restored in the affected areas and the repairing of electricity poles and main lines may take a couple of days. The effectees said that the losses were much more as compared to the previous floods mainly due to the under-construction Katchi Canal being derived from Taunsa Barrage to irrigate the barren lands of Balochistan.
They said that the flood channels for the hill torrents passing on the western side were yet to be constructed. They said interestingly the flood channels had been designed for the discharge of 4,000-10,000 cusecs while the flow of the Kaha hill torrent was recorded 80,000 cusecs this year which caused extraordinary losses. (Source: The News, 27 July 2010)