Submitted by Saleem Shaikh on August 27, 2011 – 11:18 am
UMERKOT: Displaced by raging flood caused by torrential rains in lower Sindh districts, the affected families have taken refugee on the sandy dunes near Naukot town of Tharparkar district.
According to AWARE officials, while the dislocated families of Mirpurkhas, Badin and Tharparkar districts were settled down initially in 46 relief camps by the Tharparkar district government, now only four relief camps are being managed by it.
District government officials say lack of funds and bumpy flow of relief aid has rendered it unable to look after all 46 relief camps, which have fast neared the risk of falling victim to water-borne disease. Ali Akbar Rahimo, executive director of AWARE, told Pakistan Times that most of the affected families had to resort to drinking unclean flood water amassed in big pathholes as availability of safe drinking water to them is almost at lowest ebb. “Consuming the tainted floodwater and unhygienic food by the hapless flood-hit people of the lower Sindh districts has lead to outbreak of stomach, skin, malaria disease among them,” said Ali Akbar Rahimo.
Absence of government officials, healthcare facilities, absence of safe water and sanitation arrangements for the dislocated poor families have turn the situation more complicated for affectees and plunged some already into the darkness of death, he further said. Mr. Rahimo said: “AWARE has already launched efforts on its own, with whatever resources available to it, to mitigate hardships of the dislocated families and help them survive the traumatic conditions.” He said that AWARE in support with philanthropists has installed two water purification plants in two relief camps: one near Naukot Fort and another in Santoro model cattle farm colony, which will suffice the safe drinking water needs of as many as 7,000 displaced people. “Although the water purification plants have been donated by the AQUA ZONE Water Technologies, their recurring costs is being borne by AWARE and some philanthropists,”
Explained Ali Akbar Rahimo and added that each water treatment plant can purify 20 litres of water per minute. He said that AWARE has also provided jericans to the affected families for fetching water from the purification water treatment plants. “AWARE team is extremely happy that these water treatment plants have help reduce chances of outbreak of water borne diseases among the affected people. Jan Mohammad Samoo, a representative of AWARE said that though thewater treatment plants are not sufficient to meet drinking water needs of the affected families, there is serious need that government installs such more water treatment plants for the displaced people in Tharparkar.
“In Badin and Jhudo Taluka of District Mirpurkhas, the worst affected areas, there is urgent need to install such water purification plants. For, the flood water will stagnate for next 6-8 months,” he suggested.