Dealing with floods

One year after the worst flooding disaster in the history of the region, more floods triggered by heavy rains have devastated parts of Southern Pakistan. About a million people have been affected and tens of thousands have lost their homes in this region which has still not recovered from last year’s floods.

Although this year’s floods are not as widespread as last years, but still they are affecting millions of people. Hundreds have died till now and millions have been displaced after losing their homes. Last year Pakistanis came out to help their brothers and sisters in need and contributed money, food, clothes and things of need.

With a large amount of stagnant water in most parts of the district, several sources say an outbreak of malaria and other epidemics could emerge. There are several cases of death by snake bite but serum is rarely available. The government is providing mosquito nets, but it is feared that not nearly enough are being distributed and that the nets themselves may not be enough to prevent the outbreak of diseases.

As a large number of school buildings, particularly in the katcha area have collapsed or damaged beyond repair after submerging in floodwater. Thousands of government primary and middle schools have either been flattened to the ground or still occupied by millions of survivors.

As a result, half-a-million children are still out of school. The Pakistani government says the rehabilitation of 21 million homeless people takes priority over the revival of the education system. Even funds of universities are being diverted towards relief schemes.

Only the military took lead in relief operation. Lions clubs and other welfare organisations are also putting hard efforts to continue generating funds to rehabilitate the flood affected. But I regret the same cannot be said about the government whose attitude has been disappointing, and the high classes of society (especially the feudal class) whose contribution has been meagre as well.

We people never think for our country that is suffering from uncounted crises that have been overlooked for the past many years. Now it is a very critical time in our country, never seen before in its 60-year history.

If we will not take precautionary measures on these important issues, we will face big geographical and economical disasters. In this regard, there should be a revolutionary change not only in the institutional deficiencies but our educational setup as well.

Being driven to help those who need it most is human nature. Providing infrastructure and logistics not only makes the government’s job easier but also facilitates volunteering. The government needs to step up its game.