MULTAN, Aug 06 (APP): : Feeling pain of those displaced, whose belongings are taken away by flood and who felt dejected to witness so much water after almost 36 years, the local communities and relatives came forward to lend helping hands by providing them shelters and food despite arrangements made by Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for flood affected people around river Sutlej.
A ferocious flood is witnessed this year in river Sutlej submerging hundreds of acres of land leaving thousands of people homeless, but the generous assistance of local community remained exemplary.
Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has also established relief camps, equipped with different sorts of facilities including availability of food, healthcare, fodder for animals and camps but most of the affectees sought shelter at their relatives’ or friends’ homes instead of camps so far.
During last three decades, the flow of water in river Sutlej was on decrease and the river had almost dried up near Bahawalpur. Noticing this trend, people had constructed structures in low-lying areas of the river, which are now under water.
The flood water also entered into scores of adjacent “Mauzajat” and damaged hundreds of homes and crops on thousands of acres. Although, the majority of the farmers have picked crops, especially maize which is a popular crop of the region.
A citizen namely Sajjad Saldaira, a resident of Sahuka (Burewala) talking to APP informed that a good number of flood-affected people left the river bed and sought shelter in relatives and friends’ homes.
He informed that he himself managed accommodation for 15 families. Relatives, friends and other people were exhibiting kind gestures in this crucial time for flood-hit people, he said, adding the majority of displaced people were farmers and cattle holders whose animals had also been adjusted.
Another citizen, Qasim also spoke and informed that he also provided residence facility to two families, while a good number of flood-hit families were living in their village.
Responding to problems in the areas, he stated that the government should increase number of medical professionals as some people were facing health complications. Similarly, the availability of fodder for cattle should be managed properly and the administration should provide “Wanda” to feed animals as due to flood, there was a shortage of fodder for cattle.
Regarding the flood situation in River Sutlej, Deputy Commissioner Vehari Syed Asif Shah stated that about 2100 citizens, residing in low-lying areas had been shifted to safer places.
“People have had constructed settlements in low-lying areas and the administration is trying its best to evacuate them”, said Asif Shah.
He, however, urged people to cooperate with the administration teams and warned that the water level could rise further.
About Punjab Disaster Management Authority’s work, Deputy Director Information Vehari Syed Majid Ali Naqvi observed that PDMA was offering all possible assistance to the district administration.
PDMA was not only providing resources and performing a crucial role in disaster management and response but also helping to minimize the impact of flood damages. Early warning systems, evacuation, and rescue operations were being managed through assistance of PDMA, he added.
Many residencies in Jamlaira, Rakh Jamlaira, Bandmor, Mehrabad, Lakha Saldairah, Basti Rahim, Bhaini Mianwali, Moghla Basti, Mochianwali, Basti Joyianwali, Mauza Koora, Banda Baqir Shah and others faced huge losses due to floods.
A total of 13 flood relief camps have been established in district Vehari. However, six relief camps are operational as officials from eight different departments including Health, Rescue 1122, Police, Civil Defense, Livestock, etc were performing duties there.
The remaining seven relief camps would also be made operational as per requirement, Naqvi informed.
Naqvi said the administration had found out that in most cases one family member of each displaced family was left behind to look after the residence and Rescue 1122 boats were regularly visiting such places, providing them necessary food and other items of daily use besides trying to convince them to leave the place as water could rise further anytime.
Majid Shah Naqvi recalled that usually water level increases in September in the river due to rains between August 15 to September 15, however, this year, it was unusual.
It is pertinent to mentions that in district Vehari, there are two head-works including Head Islam and Head Saifan having a capacity to manage 300,000 cusecs and 400,000 cusecs of water respectively.
When asked about flood situation in river Chenad and Ravi, Commissioner Multan Aamir Khattak said,”Water level in river Chenab is normal and there is no threat of flood so far.”
“However, river Ravi is facing low level flood, but the situation is in complete control. People in low lying areas have been shifted to safer places and will not be allowed to return till the flood threat is over, while instructions have been issued to officials concerned to remain highly vigilant,” Khattak added.