SUP holds Sindh govt responsible for deaths, devastation in floods

Published November 28, 2022
SUP activists hold a rally in Badin on Sunday.
SUP activists hold a rally in Badin on Sunday.

BADIN: The leaders of Sindh United Party have said that international donors and other forums are profusely expressing grief and sorrow over the massive devastation caused by heavy rains and subsequent floods in Sindh but they are not handing over funds to the provincial government over its world notorious corruption.

SUP president Syed Zain Shah said during an address to party workers, who staged a march and a demonstration at Badin Press Club on Sunday, that the province which was already in ruins due to massive corruption by rulers was pushed to the Stone Age when floodwaters hit most areas and wreaked unprecedented damage and destruction across the province.

He said that instead of taking measures on a war footing to drain out floodwaters, the greedy rulers started clamouring that the destruction was caused by vagaries of climate change. “Climate change is a major cause behind certain serious issues but this time round what was to blame was the sheer greed of the rulers who had deliberately left people stranded in floodwaters for months to attract attention of international donors and more funds,” he said, adding that people should now reject such corrupt people in future.

Donors not ready to give funds to corrupt rulers, claims party chief

He held PPP rulers squarely responsible for the massive destruction and deaths caused by floods and slammed them for their callousness and indifference towards unending miseries of millions of people in the province.

Mr Shah said that it was a fact that above-normal downpour pounded several parts of Sindh during the last monsoon season and the faulty and flawed infrastructure of irrigation and drainage which was not repaired before the rain and flood wreaked havoc in all 23 districts.

No action was taken to preempt the damage despite the fact officials concerned in Sindh received several warnings from weather experts and Balochistan government officials about the floodwaters flowing down to the right bank areas of Sindh from Balochistan, he said.

He said that if concrete measures were not taken to drain out rainwater in the areas on both sides of Indus River heavy rains and flood would continue to cause devastation on a large-scale during every monsoon season. It was prime responsibility of the rulers to restore natural waterways so that such disasters could be prevented in future, he advised.

Mr Shah said that all the flawed projects like Left Bank Outfall Drain and Right Bank Outfall Drain should be rehabilitated and redesigned so that floodwaters could easily flow towards Arabian Ocean.

He said that LBOD in lower parts of the province had caused massive devastation over the past four decades but no corrective measures were taken to redesign the drains or and increase their designed capacity so that they could carry larger amount of floodwaters towards sea.

It was a heinous crime to leave people in the lurch and at the mercy of waterborne and vector-borne diseases, which were taking a heavy toll on flood survivors in the areas still under floodwaters, he said and added that those who had been deprived of their houses should be provided at least Rs500,000 compensation to help them rehabilitate their houses in the devastated villages.

He said that rulers as well as lawmakers were nowhere to be seen in the flood-hit districts to receive complaints from their voters in the calamity-stricken areas. The entire province needed a mega-scale package with a comprehensive policy to prepare for facing catastrophic conditions in future, he said.

Mr Shah observed that rulers ensured international donors only saw pictures showing pain and tragedy in Sindh in order to evoke their sympathy and persuade them to part with huge funds, hence, the rulers were not making sincere efforts to rehabilitate devastated areas and victims.

Earlier, SUP workers gathered at Allah Wala Chowk and staged a march towards Badin Press Club where they held the demonstration for several hours.

SUP leaders Ameer Azad Panhwar, Roshan Buririo, Ghulam Mohammad aka Dilber Sindhi, Syed Haider Shah and leaders of other parties also delivered speeches at the demonstration.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2022

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