KARACHI: A report launched by a non-governmental organisation on Wednesday depicted the miserable conditions people affected by the last August rains have been living in and the government's apathy to their problems.
Speaking at the launch of 'Civil society flood situation report', office-bearers of the People's Accountability Commission on Floods (PACF) said that more than 1.3 million displaced persons in eight highly flooded and rainaffected districts of Sindh were passing their days in a worst human condition, prone to all kinds of natural and social afflictions.
The federal government has stopped relief activities for the flood affected, and the Sindh government and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had devised no mechanism to initiate an early recovery phase.
Saleem Abbasi of the PACF said that 17 per cent of the flood-affected districts were still inundated and people were faced with problems of potable water, cultivable land and food and permanent shelter, and the government was indifferent even to their basic right to live.
The government should immediately arrange shelters and relocate or return them to their original places of living and provide them with other means of economic and social survival, he added.
Rafiq Ahmad Channa said the PDMA authorities had claimed that they had given over 400,000tents to flood-affected people, but the fact was that people were living in the open or temporary camps along roads and ditches in pathetic condition in the cold weather.
He criticised the government for closing its relief camps abruptly in December and urged it to at least allow the WFP support to the flood affected till its own recovery and settlement measures took effect.
The latest PACF report on floods, which is the eighth in a series, said that relief services hadbeen stopped by the government on Dec 31 to start early recovery initiatives, including food, cash for work and temporary shelters from Jan 1, but no planning had been made yet.
The report found that more than 1.3 million houses were damaged or destroyed in the 23 flood-affected districts, but emergency shelters had been provided to 27 per cent of the flood-affected people.
About the highly affected eight districts, the report confirmed that of the total 1,358,157 affected hous-es 628,111 were washed away and 730,046 partially damaged in Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Umerkot, Badin and Mirpurkhas.
'District Badin has asked the PDMA to extend the relief services keeping in view the severity of the situation, but yet no decision has been announced in this regard.
The relief phase varies subject to the magnitude of the damages to basic structures and timely response to the relief needs of the affected communities, the report said.
'The logic and intention of the NDMA to stop relief services are not clear in black and white, but verbally in meetings it has been remarked by government authorities that Pakistan card will cover the gap and sustainable development would be prioritised'.
Talking about early recovery (ER), the report said that ER contingency planning was in waiting and undeclared at district and provincial levels.
According to the CSFS report, early recovery framework was supposed to build transitional and permanent shelters for flood-affected communities and would activate the skilled and unskilled labour markets by boosting the supply chain and market relating to building industries.
The report called for development of flood response centres and their devolution to district level to accelerate the relevant works and minimise interference from the provincial government.