As monsoon rains continue to batter the country, Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) expressed concerns about the damages caused to public and private property, natural resources, and loss of human lives and injured persons and internally displaced across Pakistan.
By the end of July 2022, an estimated one million population suffered directly from the heavy downpour, flash floods, glacial and cloud outbursts, landslides, and- loss of dry and pasture lands to the waters of swollen rivers.
Loss of livestock, hatcheries, and other animal sanctuaries have been estimated at over 107,000 by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
In current circumstances, PCSF finds it a calamity of the highest magnitude and demands from the government adopt the following recommendations as necessary mitigation measures.
a) The government should review and take back heavy tax regimes from calamity-hit areas to allow survivors to reclaim their livelihood.
b) The government should redivert its major support programs to calamity-hit zones, such as the Benazir Income Support Program or Ehsaas, etc.
c) The government should immediately allow all national civil society organizations, support and relief organizations, groups involved in philanthropy, etc. to start relief work by bypassing bureaucratic channels, such as EAD, etc.
The catastrophic monsoon downpour has destroyed key infrastructure (main artery and link roads, bridges and water reservoirs, etc.)- that resulted in limiting the outreach to the suffering people in troubled areas.
The worst hit provinces as NDMA’s data (9 Aug 2022) paints are Sindh with 436,000 people, Baluchistan with 360,000, and Punjab with 119,000.
Monsoon rains have wreaked havoc on the already poor infrastructure of Balochistan as several areas were severely affected by the flash floods. The Pakistan Army jawans are carrying out our rescue and relief operation in Lasbela, Uthal, and Lakhra.
Monsoon rains swept away houses, hopes, and people in Upper Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in the port city of Karachi. The current monsoon spell played havoc with the lives and properties of people. Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has been on high alert as concerned departments have already been directed to remain on their toes to deal with any natural calamity and its effects.
The outbreak of diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, malaria, and skin ailments, etc. are further complicating the starving, homeless, and neglected Pakistani citizens.
This situation demands robust and at least matching efforts to bail out survivors of this natural calamity of mammoth magnitude- that unfortunately are not being done either by the state institutions or by other national or international response mechanisms.
The response of NDMA and its affiliates (PDMAs)- are yet to prove their metal because of their weaker and inappropriate role in magnifying the effects of this natural calamity at both national and international levels.
They are unable to invoke the voluntary spirit of citizens of the country and failed to bring forward civil society organizations and individuals with missionary values to join rank and file and re-surface as one single response to natural calamity- that might transform into man-made crises if ignored.