Thursday, October 13, 2011

Flood in Sindh: Destruction of Mirpurkhas & Tharparkar. (Courtesy: Dawn/Express)

I used to live in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, between 1970 to 1975 and believe me it was not Paris nor it was Venice and neither it was Singapore but it was a developing city, peaceful and harmonious and one of the salient feature of that District was "Fruit Gardens and Farms" specifically "Mango Farms"  and what we have in 2011! Lets have a look - KARACHI: Rains damaged about a two-third of the cotton areas in Mirpurkhas, the second largest cotton-growing district in the Sindh. The cotton crop is 70 percent at the dented stage. With only 30 percent of the current cotton crop rated fair or better as of this Friday, crop conditions were well behind where they were at this time last year. Out of six tehsils (sub-districts) of Mirpurkhas, considered rich among cotton belt, Jhudo, Kot Ghulam Muhammad, Digri and Sindhri were affected from recent rains. While Sanghar is the leading district countrywide, Mirpurkhas had been forecasted the second largest cotton producer district in Sindh this year. This year Mirpurkhas was estimated to increase production from 405,000 bales a year ago, official sources said. “The rains were severe, so irrigated acreage in most areas had emergence issues and now irrigated crops are suffering,” source said. Mirpurkhas planted 40,400 hectare of soft commodity this season, much of which has already been harmed by heavy showers. “We have been selling a maund of cottonseed at around Rs 2,500 for the last two month, while the prices elsewhere are higher,” a farmer said. Reference: Rain devastates third of Mirpurkhas cotton crop zulfiqar kunbhar Saturday, September 03, 2011 

News Night with Talat - 1 (12th October 2011)


The hospital compound is submerged in five feet of water, ambulances have stopped working and the only mode of transport inside is donkey carts. PHOTO: ZEESHAN KHAN/EXPRESS - MIRPURKHAS: Civil Hospital, Mirpurkhas, and the doctors’ residential quarters that surround it, are a bizarre archipelago in a 13-acre sea of rainwater. Gulab, a resident of the Digri Tehsil waded through torrents of floodwater to get to the hospital located in the centre of Mirpurkhas City bearing his six-year-old daughter suffering from pneumonia. Upon reaching the gate, he hired a donkey cart waiting there in order to cross a moat of rain, river and sewerage water only to be told that the hospital is unable to treat chest congestion and he would have to take her to Hyderabad, Lal Batti, instead. From the main gate to the hospital, the water stands at about five feet, while the floor of the hospital is hidden under a layer of muck. The ambulances gave way as water soaked into their engines. A makeshift ramp has been constructed for stretchers and gurneys and a pair of donkey carts have been hired by the hospital to transport their staff inside. The patients, on the other hand, have to pay Rs10 per head for each trip to and from the gate and the hospital. Critical patients – particularly those with heart problems – do not survive the bumpy trip. Though it is the district’s civil hospital, people from the Tharparkar, Sanghar, Umarkot, Mirpurkhas and Tando Allahyar districts all travel here and about 3,000 patients are treated daily. Gulab was turned away from the last functioning ward of the hospital that housed a total of 100 people – doctors included. There are about 1.5 million people living in Mirpurkhas district alone. Like Gulab’s daughter, the majority of patients have to be turned away because the hospital’s supply of medicines and technology has severely been affected. Others simply cannot stomach the filth that fills the wards. Nearby, there is an area known as New Town where there are about six private medical centres. The queues outside these clinics are longer than those outside ration distribution centres as people line up, prepared to pay private bills for medical attention. Strangely enough, the road outside is not flooded – roughly 20 days after the rains stopped, only the hospital compound remains flooded. It is one of the areas, including Mirpurkhas, Digri, Diplo and Sanghar, where water remains. Efforts to drain the civil hospital in Sanghar have been abandoned altogether and an emergency centre in an adjoining shop has been setup to help patients in need of urgent medical care. Meanwhile, the Mirpurkhas hospital management, taluka municipal administration and district management are too busy pushing the responsibility of draining the hospital off on each other to actually make any headway towards getting the water out. Their homes flooded and belongings destroyed, even the paramedics and doctors living in the hospital compound have shifted away. Probably the only upside is that the electricity supply is still up and, during load-shedding, the hospital generators are also functioning. Not to be overlooked either is the dedication of the doctors who wait at the gate for patients, working with what little they have. In the days that have passed since the water flowed down from the saltwater drain to the left of the district, sewerage from the hospital has mixed into the water. The doctors say that the sanitation problem is so bad that they are not even sure what kind of diseases are spreading in the hospital. The most common complaints, after gastroenteritis and malaria, are skin diseases. Swimming through the stew of sewerage, rainwater and mud are fish weighing up to 200 grammes. According to social worker Kanji Dheel, the situation is worsened by certain influential landlords who are draining their agricultural lands and sending the water towards Mirpurkhas City. with additional writing by husna anwar Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2011. REFERENCE: In Mirpurkhas, Rs10 is the fare for a donkey cart ride between life and death By Afaq Khan Published: September 28, 2011 

News Night with Talat - 2 (12th October 2011)


The hospital compound is submerged in five feet of water, ambulances have stopped working and the only mode of transport inside is donkey carts. PHOTO: ZEESHAN KHAN/EXPRESS - MIRPURKHAS, Sept 25: Several wards of the Civil Hospital in Mirpurkhas have been closed and 80 per cent doctors and other staff members have stopped coming to work with the hospital premises being under four feet water for weeks. Indoor patients had to leave the hospital without treatment. Hundreds of patients coming to the hospital from Sanghar, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Tando Allahyar have no place to turn to. The municipal and other authorities have failed to drain out water and the wards of gynaecology, paediatrics, surgery, ENT, cardiac and Kidney have been closed. People suffering from gastroenteritis, malaria, skin disease and dehydration are unable to get any treatment. Hospital waste and heaps of filth are lying at different places posing serious health hazards and providing breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. Sondha, Rewa, Nandlal and other patients told this reporter that they had been displaced from their homes and now they suffered from different diseases and had to go to private clinics. Chairman of the Citizen Action Committee Rais Ahmed Khan and Kamran Kaimkhani regretted that the hospital which provided treatment to thousands of people was lying closed because of inefficiency of the district administration, departments concerned, TMA Mirpurkhas and the hospital administration. They urged the authorities to take immediate steps to drain out water from the hospital premises. A FLOODED CITY: Rainwater mixed with sewage and saline water of Dhoro Puran stagnating in the town for a couple of weeks has created a serious problem for the people. Sweepers of the taluka municipal administration were seen breaking some sewage drains to drain out water. Some heavy pumping machines are being used at the railway station roundabout and other places. About two to three feet of water has entered residential areas and inundated the DCO office, food godowns and offices of the excise and taxation department, district food controller and EDO health. Floodwater also hit the offices of the district council, director information, EDO agriculture, anti-corruption establishment and police complex, civil hospital, DIG house, circuit house, police lines, town police station, Sindh horticulture research institute, district and sessions court, Shah Abdul Latif science college and the government high school. ADJOINING AREAS: Jhuddo taluka has been cut off from Mirpurkhas with the main road under six feet of water. Two to three feet of water is flowing through the town and villages on its outskirts. The roads linking Jhuddo town with nearby villages have also been inundated. Distribution of relief goods among displaced people, who are living in the open, was stopped by the administration two weeks ago. On Saturday, some army trucks carrying foodstuff reached the taluka of Jhuddo. Half of the goods were distributed while the rest was snatched by the enraged people. Digri taluka is also under four feet of water. About four to five feet of water is stagnating in the rural areas of the talukas of Mirpurkhas, Hussain Bux Mari and Sindhri. Although some relief goods are being distributed in Mir Ji Landhi, 10 Mile Mori and adjoining villages in the taluka of Kot Ghulam Mohammad, a large number of affected people are not getting any help. TANDO JAN MOHAMMAD: President of the Sindh Chamber for Agriculture, Mirpurkhas chapter, Mir Zafarullah Talpur, told Dawn that the town of Tando Jan Mohammad had been submerged because of a man-made breach in a canal embankment near Digri. He said growers were diverting water towards Khatyan minor, increasing the level of water in Tando Jan Mohammad town. He said that 80 per cent of the people of the town had moved to other places. He alleged that relief goods were being distributed mostly on political basis while a large number of villagers were living without any help. He said four to five feet of water was standing on the outskirts of the town and there was no way to drain it out. REFERENCE: Several wards of Mirpurkhas Civil Hospital remain closed By Qamaruddin | From the Newspaper September 26, 2011

News Night with Talat - 3 (12/12/11)

News night with talat - 12th october 2011

MIRPURKHAS: Monsoon floods that sunk Pakistan’s arable belt for a second year running have piled farming losses clocking up to nearly $2 billion on top of a humanitarian catastrophe facing up to eight million people in the south. Crops of grain, cotton, sugarcane, fruit and vegetables have been submerged and experts say the disaster could worsen the country’s already dismal growth and inflation prospects. (Read: Urgent cause:  FAO to raise $18.9m to save livestock)  “It could (also) increase inflation by two to three percent by the end of this calendar year – from 13 to a maximum of 16 percent,” the official said. Exports are likely to be hit as Pakistan struggles to provide enough food to feed its own population in the wake of the floods, said independent economist Rauf Nizamani. “The floods will certainly affect the trade and may cause a loss of at least $3 billion to the Pakistani exchequer,” Nizamani said, leaving export receipts at $25 billion for the fiscal year. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that nearly three quarters of southern Sindh province’s crops have been damaged or destroyed by the waters, while two thirds of food stocks have also been hit. Sindh’s agriculture ministry said the financial cost of crop losses so far was estimated at 163 billion Pakistani rupees ($1.87 billion). Cotton faces losses of $998 million, income from chilli crops will be down $427 million and both rice and sugarcane will lose an estimated $135 million, said Aghah Jan Akhtar, the ministry’s secretary. One year after the country experienced its worst-ever floods, affecting 21 million people, farmers were again viewing their fields with despair. In Mirpurkhas, one of the most fertile and badly-flooded districts, the branches of the cotton plants were blackened with water damage, and the usually white buds were colourless and droopy. Rice plants that usually bloom above watery paddy fields were completely submerged, while stalks of sugarcane were miserably short at five feet tall. “This catastrophe struck before families affected by last year’s flooding were able to even start recovering,” said FAO Pakistan representative Kevin Gallagher. “The floods and rain deepen the risk of losing more vital livestock assets and for some, missing another opportunity to plant wheat and other essential crops.” “Besides that, we have lost $180 million through the destruction of tomato, onion, banana and other vegetable crops,” he said. Agriculture makes up 23 percent of Pakistan’s GDP and a senior finance ministry official, who did not want to be named, estimated that the country’s overall growth rate could fall from 4.5 to three percent on current trends. Pakistan’s largest agricultural trading customers are the United States, which takes more than one fifth of cotton, textiles and rice exports, and China, which takes 15 percent. (Sindh floods: UN launches international appeal) Badar Khwaja, a farmer in Tando Bago town in Badin district, forlornly pointed at his flooded paddy fields. He had planned to harvest them just one day after the heavy rains began to fall in August. “The rains have destroyed farmers and peasants alike,” said Khwaja. In nearby Tando Allahyar, known for its quality vegetable production, only 2.5 percent of its usual haul is being trucked to market in Karachi, said local grower Qamar Zaman. “The situation is too critical. We normally feed everyone, but now are ourselves hungry finding no one to feed us,” he said. Kunri town in Mirpurkhas will lose the distinction of being one of the prominent chilli production areas in Asia as 100,000 acres of the red chilli crops have been submerged, said provincial agriculture minister Ali Nawaz Shah. “It is yet another blow to our economy,” he said. In a bitter irony for the farmers, their August harvest due to take place before the floods arrived had been delayed due to water shortage. A lack of irrigation on Sindh’s flatlands had already reduced chilli output from one million tonnes 10 years ago to half that in recent years. “Earlier we suffered because there was no water, but now a deluge has destroyed us,” said grower Ghulam Akbar Dars. Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2011. REFERENCE: Agriculture losses: Flooded breadbasket spells economic misery By AFP Published: September 28, 2011

News Night with Talat - 1 (11/12/11)


MITHI, Oct 9: Thousands of internally-displaced families living in relief camps or on sand dunes in Thar near Naukot and Kaloi have urged the government and relief agencies to immediately provide tents, food, water and healthcare facilities to the affected people. They also called for a comprehensive survey of losses caused by recent rains and flood. While travelling on the Mithi-Vango, Kaloi-Naukot, Naukot-Mithi roads and some link roads and during recent visits to Kaloi, Naukot and some villages and relief camps, this correspondent saw the entire road network destroyed by rains and portions of the Mithi-Vango road washed away at several places. Scores of villages in the irrigated areas of Kaloi, Bitaro and union councils of Diplo taluka have been cut off from Kaloi, Naukot, Mithi, Badin and other areas. The district administration has failed to drain out water from the Santoro Farm area of Naukot town. Its wholesale market of around 300 shops remains closed. Coaches, buses and trucks cannot use the Naukot road to reach Mithi from Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Badin, Karachi or other places. Vehicles are coming to Mithi via Umerkot and Chelhar, which is causing delay in transportation of relief items and other goods. Commuters have to use tractor trolleys or donkey carts to cross the half kilometre of submerged area of Santoro Farm. The authorities have failed to drain out water from the Naukot grid station and power supply to pumping stations for supply of canal water to Mithi remains suspended. The level of water in the Left Bank Outfall Drain, Dhoro Puran and Mehrand Lake near Kaloi continues to be high. Scores of villages around Kaloi, Naukot, Fazal Bhambhro, Nabisar, Talhi, Nafis Nagar, Samaro, Kunri, Jhuddo, Tando Jan Mohammad, Digri, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Umerkot, Badin and other areas are still submerged in rain and flood water. Almost all the mud houses in these areas have been destroyed, cattle have perished and crops of cotton, sugarcane and vegetables have been damaged. A large number of displaced families is living on the sand dunes of Thar near Kaloi and Naukot or in the poorly-managed relief camps. They are short of food and water and suffering from various diseases. Hundreds of flood-affected people of various villages of Naukot and Kaloi areas are living along the Kaloi-Naukot road with their livestock. Talking to this correspondent in Kaloi, Gomando, Rano, Piro and other haris alleged that landowners were not doing anything to help them in their struggle for survival. They said they had received inadequate ration from an NGO a couple of days ago. “Our Togachi Samo village was submerged at night and we had to abandon it. About 400 families are now living on the road. We got only 40 tents but no relief from the government or any NGO,” said Ayoub, Abdul Majid, Suleman and others. Displaced residents of Ayoub Halo village, now living in relief camps set up in two schools in Kaloi, made similar complaints. They said the camp was dirty and there were no toilets. They are suffering from malaria, diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and skin disease. Ms Hiru, Chibhar Bheel and others living in a relief camp near Naukot fort alleged mismanagement, misappropriation and non-transparency in distribution of relief goods.Meanwhile, Mohammad Khan Loond, finance secretary of the PPP’s Tharparkar chapter, Ali Murad Loond, president of the PPP’s Bolhari union council chapter, and Mohammad Qasim Loond, former nazim of Kaloi UC,said that the district administration and other authorities had ignored the rain-affected areas of Diplo taluka. But district revenue officer Imran Bhatti claimed that the relief operation was going on smoothly and a large number of people living in relief camps or scattered in different places were getting adequate help. He said that the district administration had distributed 15,259 out of the 18,635 tents it had received. Similarly, it had received 106,934 ration bags and so far distributed 73,102 and the process was continuing. REFERENCE: Tharis still awaiting relief on sand dunes By Prem Shivani | From the Newspaper October 10, 2011 

News Night with Talat - 2 (11/12/11)


Villagers carry their belongings through floodwater following heavy monsoon rain in Golarchi town in Badin district. PHOTO: AFP HYDERABAD/ISLAMABAD: Heavy rains continued to lash Sindh relentlessly on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 270, as authorities scrambled to cope with rising flood waters, and the UN prepared to launch a flash appeal for international assistance. “At least 270 people have died so far because of falling roofs, drowning in flood waters and outbreak of diseases,” said Sajjad Haider Shah, a disaster management official in Sindh. That figure is expected to rise though, given that 300,000 flood-affected people have so far reported with different illnesses at medical camps across the province, according to statistics released by the department on Tuesday. Tuesday witnessed heavy spells of rains across the province with Karachi, Mithi, Dadu, Tandojam, Sakrand, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, each receiving between 100 and 190 mm of rain. Chief meteorologist Mohammad Riaz said the figures were a 51-year record, and the rains would continue for the rest of the week. Pakistan’s meteorological department says average rainfall across Sindh is three times normal, with the worst-affected districts of Badin, Mirpurkhas and Thar seeing eight times the usual levels. This year’s rains, though concentrated in Sindh, have already affected 5.3 million people and 1.2 million homes in the province’s 23 districts, with 1.7 million acres of arable land inundated according to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) initial assessment. (Read: Floods worsen, 270 killed, says officials) Over 12,000 heads of cattle have perished while millions have been displaced, added Sindh minister for livestock Abid Hussain Jatoi. “Mirpurkhas, Tharparker, Badin and Khairpur are the worst affected districts for livestock,” he added. UN flash appeal The United Nations (UN) would launch a formal flash appeal for meeting the financial requirements of early relief phase in flood-affected areas of Sindh, possibly before the end of September, sources in the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) told The Express Tribune. The UN has already launched a rapid needs assessment and officials from the organization and its allied agencies have completed visits to the affected districts. “On the basis of rapid needs assessment, the UN will launch a flash appeal to seek global financial assistance for Pakistan,” confirmed the local UN spokesperson Ishrat Rizvi. The rapid assessment report is expected to be completed within one week, she added. Last year, the UN had made a $1.9 billion appeal for early relief and recovery phases. Against the overall appeal, around 70% pledges were materialised by international donors, Rizvi said. The need for the flash appeal was triggered after the government declared that it would not be able to handle the catastrophe within its own limited resources. This is the second flash appeal being launched by the UN, the first one issued after last year’s super floods which killed 2,000 people, left a fifth of the country under water and affected around 21 million people. Local officials, however, say devastation in the province is worse than last year. The UN’s World Food Programme agency is working to provide emergency supplies to half a million people while the United States said it is sending food aid for nearly 350,000 and medical assistance for about 500,000 people. Inadequate response Head of the prime minister’s committee on rain damage Qamar Zaman Kaira expressed his discontent over rescue and relief operations being carried out in rain-affected areas. More than 5.5 million people have been affected in lower Sindh and the majority of the people are still stranded in their areas, he said while addressing a joint press conference at the Chief Minister House on Tuesday. Admitting the inadequacy of the government’s response, Kaira said that “only 80,000 tents have been provided to the rain victims while the rest have been living without any shelter.” “It has disappointed us,” he said, adding that the government has contacted tent manufacturing companies to provide an additional four to five thousand tents. Separately, EAD officials said that the government can provide up to 93,000 tents while the country immediately needs another 100,000. Kaira said that they would hold another meeting on Wednesday to finalise relief and rescue efforts. Senators step up Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali constituted two special committees, procurement and distribution headed by Senators Seemen Yusuf Siddiqui and Sardar Ali Khan respectively, to work for flood victims in Sindh. (Read: Mitigating Misery – Senators urge special relief package) Senator Haji Ghulam Ali was deputed to coordinate with the chambers of commerce across the country for fund raising while, the special committees will arrange for 6,000 bags containing food items on an emergency basis. The senators raised an amount of Rs11.4 million on Tuesday while lawmakers also extended donations of Rs25,000 each from their next month salary. Some senators, however, asked for the donation to be reduced to Rs10,000, citing non-affordability. WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT BY HAFEEZ TUNIO IN KARACHI, ZAHID GISHKORI IN ISLAMABAD AND AGENCIES. Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2011. REFERENCE: Sindh rains By Shahbaz Rana / Z Ali Published: September 14, 2011 

News Night with Talat - 3 (11/12/11)


HYDERABAD: The government is yet to complete its assessment of losses suffered by the agriculture sector in Sindh due to the monsoon rains but officials estimate devastation of around 140,000 acres in Mirpurkhas district alone. According to the official estimates, crops are sown over 205,000 acres in Mirpurkhas. “Up to 80 percent of the cotton crop standing over 40,200 acres has been washed away by the rains,” District Agriculture Officer, Mirpurkhas, Yar Muhammad Khaskheli told newsmen on Wednesday. Heavy monsoon rains caused flash-floods in Umerkot, Tharparkar, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Tando Muhammad Khan and Badin with the provincial government declaring four of them as calamity hit districts. DCO Mirpurkhas Ghulam Hussain Memon told the local media that nearly 22,000 people have been provided shelter in the relief camps. The rains affected 32 union councils with 24 of them officially declared as calamity hit. According to the DCO, around 200,000 people have been affected by the rains. Abdul Majeed Nizamani, president Sindh Abadgar Board believes that cotton crop sowed over about 1.2 million acres in Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas and Sanghar districts has been damaged or destroyed. “The price of per acre yield of cotton crop is at least Rs73,000 according to the estimates of Agriculture Research Department.” Cotton, which need less than half feet of water for cultivation, cannot withstand two to four feet water for several days as the plant wilts for want of oxygen. Besides cotton, other crops like paddy, chillies, sugarcane and vegetables have also suffered badly. “Nearly 90 percent of chilli crop cultivated over 17,500 acres, 25 percent of sugarcane crop sown at around 46,600 acres and 90 percent of 40,800 acres of vegetables have been destroyed,” says Yar Muhammad Khaskheli, the district agriculture officer. Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011. REFERENCE: Crop damage: Rains wreak havoc in Sindh By Z Ali Published: August 18, 2011

News Night with Talat - 4 (11/12/11)


THE recent floods in Sindh have triggered a debate in the media about the role of the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) in exacerbating the disaster in the south-eastern districts of the province. Much has been said and written about how the LBOD, meant for the drainage of excessive irrigation water from Nawabshah, Sanghar and Mirpurkhas districts into the Arabian Sea, has turned out to be a recurring cause of flood disaster since the 1999 cyclone in lower Sindh. The debate focusing on the LBOD issue draws attention towards the much larger issue of `drainage crisis` engineered by international aid through man-made structural interventions in irrigation and drainage in the Indus basin — the only river basin of the country. The portion of land drained by a river and its tributaries is the river basin. It encompasses an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow converges on a single point called the exit of the basin, and eventually flows into an estuary, a lake, an ocean or a sea. The Indus basin is one of the largest basins in Asia. It extends over four countries including China, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Around 56 per cent of the Indus basin lies in Pakistan. The British Raj introduced a modern irrigation system with perennial water supplies through mega structural measures like headworks, weirs and barrages on the rivers. Such interventions in the Indus basin commenced in 1859 with the completion of the Upper Bari Doab Canal (MBDC) from the Madhopur Headworks (now in India) on the Ravi. REFERENCE: Drainage crisis in Indus basin By Azhar Lashari | From the Newspaper The writer works for an international anti-poverty organisation.  Crop Damages as on 14.08.2011 

However, considerable expansion of the irrigation network in the Indus basin took place in the decades following independence. That expansion was possible because of international aid (read loan). With three storage reservoirs, two headworks, 16 barrages, 12 interlink canals, 44 canal systems, more than 64,000km of canals and 90,000 water courses in the Indus basin today, Pakistan has one of the largest contiguous irrigation systems in the world. The huge infrastructure has made it possible to divert 101 million acre feet (MAF) out of the 154 MAF annual water flow in the Indus basin for feeding the canal system, thereby intensifying irrigation in the country. Out of a total of 52.75 million acres of cropped area, the average annual irrigated area constitutes 40 million acres. Of this, 34.5 million acres are irrigated through the canal irrigation system. But from the outset, the intensive irrigation network has unleashed a range of social and environmental problems including marginalisation of the landless and indigenous people, demographic imbalances tilted in favour of powerful political and ethnic groups, the erosion of flora and fauna, and last but not least, land degradation in the form of waterlogging and salinity. However, the only problem that has attracted the attention of policymakers has been waterlogging and salinity. To fix the problem, structural measures like the Salinity Control and Rehabilitation Project (SCARP), Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD), LBOD, National Drainage Programme (NDP) and the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) were undertaken. katcha nashaib pucca. The huge irrigation and drainage network developed over one and a half centuries has created an unprecedented drainage crisis in the country. The construction of storage reservoirs, barrages, weirs and other engineering works across and along the Indus rivers has seriously obstructed natural drainage in the Indus basin — both in low-lying ( or ) areas and high lands (). The riverbeds that developed over thousands of years have been squeezed into narrow passages, not allowing peak flood flows to pass smoothly. For instance, the Indus bed previously spanned 14-20km in the plains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, south-western Punjab and Sindh before the advent of the modern irrigation regime that saw the construction of embankments. It has now been reduced to not more than 2km. pucca In addition, the accumulation of silt in reservoirs as well as in beds has further reduced the carrying capacity of rivers, besides increasing water velocity and intensifying bank erosion. Similarly, the development of canal and drainage infrastructure in lands has obstructed the natural drainage of streams and hill torrents that ultimately are discharged into the river basin. REFERENCE: Drainage crisis in Indus basin By Azhar Lashari | From the Newspaper The writer works for an international anti-poverty organisation.  Crop Damages as on 14.08.2011

For instance, the development of canals branching out from Chashma, Taunsa, Guddu and Sukkur barrages, and the RBOD have seriously complicated the drainage of hill torrents on the right bank of the Indus in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, south-western Punjab and western Sindh. Last year`s floods and the extraordinary torrential rain in Sindh in 2011 have revealed how the drainage crisis of the Indus basin has turned out to be a permanent flood hazard, exposing the people of the country — particularly those living in Sindh and south-western Punjab — to new risks and vulnerabilities. As mega irrigation and drainage projects involve enormous economic costs and technical expertise, international financial institutions (IFIs) have been at the centre of efforts to promote a techno-centric approach to water development in Pakistan. They have played a role not only in complicating the drainage crisis in the Indus basin but also in incurring a heavy foreign debt. The World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have prescribed, supported and funded many mega structures like the Tarbela Dam, Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project, LBOD, NDP, Chotiari Dam, Taunsa Barrage, the Emergency Rehabilitation and Modernisation Project (TBERMP), etc that are socially unjust, politically exclusionary, economically exploitative and environmentally disastrous. It is high time to find a sustainable solution to the drainage crisis in the Indus basin, besides holding WB and ADB accountable for inflicting death, disease, hunger and livelihood disruptions on hundreds of thousands people affected by last year`s floods and this year`s heavy rains in Sindh. The IFIs must be pushed to compensate the people. REFERENCE: Drainage crisis in Indus basin By Azhar Lashari | From the Newspaper The writer works for an international anti-poverty organisation.  Crop Damages as on 14.08.2011

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