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Drought-like conditions affect over half a million people in Balochistan

Updated December 19, 2018

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Over 109,000 families have been hit by continued drought in 20 districts of the province; compensation has been promised by the provincial government. —AFP/File
Over 109,000 families have been hit by continued drought in 20 districts of the province; compensation has been promised by the provincial government. —AFP/File

In Balochistan, a drought-like situation has reportedly affected over half a million people and had a severe impact on the agriculture and livestock sectors, said Home Minister Saleem Ahmed Khosa.

Khosa, while addressing a press conference in Quetta on Wednesday, said around 109,000 families have reportedly been hit by a drought-like situation in 20 districts of the province.

"These statistics are based on reports given by the deputy commissioners of the 20 districts," the home minister added.

Chaghi, Noshki, Killa Abdullah, Awaran and other areas of Balochistan continue to suffer from drought-like situations. "Rainfall during the last one decade has reduced drastically," said the minister.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal also presided over a meeting on Wednesday to review the rehabilitation and relief work. During the meeting, it was decided that emergency cells would be established on provincial and district levels to cope with the drought.

Officials from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) also briefed the chief minister about the pace of current rehabilitation and relief efforts.

Earlier on Saturday, the opposition and treasury benches in Balochistan Assembly had expressed concern over growing drought in parts of the province and said that just sending a few trucks of relief goods by Provincial Disaster Management Authority [PDMA] would not resolve the problem and special measures were needed to help the people hit by the calamity.

The provincial lawmakers complained that the government was not taking them into confidence over the drought situation in the province.

BNP’s Sanaullah Baloch said only a few trucks of relief goods had been sent to drought-hit areas and in his own constituency only six trucks reached, but the aid was not enough even for 50 families.