A family from Sindh, displaced due to the recent catastrophic flooding in the country, has claimed that their daughter — a toddler — died at a flood relief camp in the Kot Diji area of the Khairpur district due to a lack of basic supplies such as food, water and mosquito nets.
The father of the victim, Mumtaz Gopang, told Dawn.com that his daughter passed away last night. “She was hungry and ill for several days […] but no one helped us and my daughter died right in front of my eyes.”
Gopang, who has been staying at a relief camp established at the Kot Diji City High School, complained that there was no potable water, food, tents or mosquito nets at the camps.
Kot Diji Assistant Commissioner (AC) Asim Abbasi, while confirming the incident, said that the toddler had been sick for the past few days and was moved to the hospital by the district administration.
“But her parents, instead of staying at the hospital, immediately returned back to the relief camp,” he said, adding that he had visited the camp earlier today as well but couldn’t find the family of the bereaved as they had all left for the burial of the child.
Abbasi also rejected the claims about the lack of food supplies at the camp, saying that he was ensuring the affectees were provided weekly rations.
Meanwhile, the family of the victim and other people staying at the flood camp took to the streets and blocked the road for traffic today. They chanted slogans against the district administration and urged Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take notice of the incident.
They also demanded timely provision of relief items.
Later in the day, PPP lawmaker Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto reached out to the toddler’s family and extended condolences to them.
She dispatched a team to the site with tents and other relief items for the flood affectees, along with Rs200,000 compensation for the grieving family.
Sindh is one of the worst-affected areas by the monsoon rains and subsequent flooding which has wreaked havoc across the country. Hundreds of people in the province have been forced to leave their houses and move to relief camps after towns and villages were washed away during floods.
Most recently, Manchhar lake has been witnessing a surge in its water level as floodwaters from the north and hill torrents from Balochistan flow southwards to converge in Sindh, leaving behind a trail of deaths and destruction.