Flood-hit areas beset by starvation in Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan

Published August 26, 2022
DERA GHAZI KHAN: Flood-affected people tussle over food items being distributed by the district administration. — Dawn
DERA GHAZI KHAN: Flood-affected people tussle over food items being distributed by the district administration. — Dawn

MUZAFFARGARH: A new spell of downpour added to the woes of people in Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan on Thursday.

Dera Ghazi Khan’s flooded areas had chaotic scenes as people scampered to lay hands on food items brought by the district administration. There were reports of starvation among people in various parts of the flood-hit areas.

The rain created panic in Muzaffargarh, especially its Kot Addu and Jatoi tehsils, where river erosion took place. The people of Kot Addu Darri 34 spurs and Lundi Pittafi in Jatoi were in trouble.

More than 500,000 acres of cotton crops had been damaged by floods and heavy rains, leaving the farmers in distress. The farmers and tenants who have to pay dues to landlords are facing a great deal of difficulty as they had taken seeds and pesticides on credit but their cotton crops have been damaged.

Shelters, crops have been flattened

The growers say the district administration has yet to start the survey of losses of crops and houses. They demand that the Punjab government declare the district a calamity-hit area.

Deputy Commissioner Ali Annan Qamar said 300,000-acre land had been inundated with the Indus water and more than 50,000 people had been evacuated. He said a survey would start in September because the administration was busy in evacuation and monitoring the flood situation these days.

A number of people reached the offices of the assistant commissioners in Muzaffargarh and Kot Addu tehsils to impress upon the officials the need to drain out the water.

Secretary Housing Javed Akhtar Mahmood said teams distributed food items and lunch boxes in Taunsa Sharif. He said the rehabilitation would take a month.

River erosion continued at Kot Adu/Head Taunsa barrage due to rain. There was a high-level flood in the river Indus. Spur No 34 is facing severe erosion due to floodwater coming from Kot Addu and the administration has mobilised teams to repair leakage in spur dam.

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Continuous spells of heavy downpour at Sulaiman Range as well as on large swathes of land between the Indus river and the foothills of mountains have created obstacles to rescue operation and also enhanced the food crisis.

The hill torrents have been proving a bolt from the blue for the people for the last one month.

A number of flood-affected people of Rojhan invaded two trucks carrying food hampers at ARC (arazi record centre) for distribution. Officials failed to maintain order, allowing people to lay their hands on food packets.

An officer of Rojhan police told Dawn that 5,000 or so people gathered to get food items at the ARC and there was a chaotic situation which the administration could not control.

Some people said the officials were engaged in chief secretary’s visit to Rojhan.

Meanwhile, a message by a young man from Hazrat Sakhi Shiro’s shrine at Rajanpur’s Gorchani tribal area is doing the rounds. It says: “The people of the tribal area which is on the northwest side of hill torrent Kaha Sultan and those in the settlements around the shrine have been suffering from starvation for the past 10 days. Owing to strong winds, the tents have flown away and goods and livestock have been swept away. The same is the case with other areas such as Mari, Khulchas, Loot Lal, Khaliri Thal, Daraz Thal and Chatri. No aid has yet arrived from the government, no food, no medicine for the children or the sick.

“Loundi Saidan and Harand roads are closed. Matches to Panadol tablets are not available in the tribal area. The people of the tribal area are currently going through a difficult situation. Our MPAs and MNAs are not taking due interest in rescue and relief activities. We appeal to the political assistant, deputy commissioner Rajanpur and commissioner Dera Ghazi Khan to take some steps for the people of tribal area and provide relief by every possible means.”

A flood victim said the floodwater had swept away the entire colonies. “One can’t find the traces of their houses...”.

DROWNING: A resident of Rojhan’s kacha arazi drowned in the river Indus.

Journalist Amir Nadeem told Dawn that the young man, Ahmed Dashti, drowned while undergoing training.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2022

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