QUETTA: Both opposition and treasury benches in the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday expressed serious concern over the massive destruction in the flash floods caused by heavy monsoon rains and lamented that the federal government’s institutions and other stakeholders were not playing their due role, as the affected people were still waiting for relief goods and lying in the open in several areas.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle observed that Balochistan was not given its due share in aid and relief goods coming from various countries at a time when many people were displaced and needed help.
Calling for a house committee to be set up to take up the issue with the centre, the MPAs said Balochistan could not carry meet the challenge of rehabilitating the flood-hot people from its already meagre share of Rs80 billion in PSDP.
They said the province was passing through a critical situation in the wake of unprecedented flooding, as 32 out of its 34 districts were badly affected, with thousands of houses, road infrastructure and agriculture crops washed away by raging floodwaters, leaving tens of thousands of families displaced.
It was also observed that flood-affected areas were currently faced with outbreaks of several water-borne diseases, leading to daily deaths of men, women and children.
In the assembly session — presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail — opposition member Nasarullah Zerey took the floor soon after the session began and, on the point of order, diverted the attention of the house towards flood-induced devastation in the province.
He said floods had changed the map of the province, with many villages, dams, bridges and other buildings vanishing off the face of the earth. Mr Zerey said that besides 300 flood-related deaths, the province had also suffered financial losses of Rs300 billion. He urged the house to debate the issue and send its recommendation and suggestions to the federal government and donors for their help in rehabilitating flood victims.
Mir Ziaullah Langove, CM’s adviser on home and tribal affairs, noted that unprecedented destruction had pushed Balochistan 30 years back. He noted that despite limited resources, the provincial government rescued people and provided them with relief goods and other facilities.
Mr Langove, who also heads the provincial disaster management authority, said Balochistan needed more tents and relief goods for the displaced families, as all available tents had already been disbursed among the victims.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2022