By: Yasmin Arshad
It was the night of July 2010 when a thick piece of cloud appeared on the blue sky and covered the full moon and in a few minutes, the cloud engulfed the whole sky and started rain, people took a sigh of relief as every body was fed up with the scorching heat of the months of June and July but unfortunately the rain did not stop and its speed continuously increased which caused the rivers and canals full with the rainy water and converted into a flood like situation.
An emergency situation has developed in the country as the second spell of monsoon rains in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest of Pakistan, resulted in devastating flood in various rivers.
About 1100 people died and ten districts – Charsadda, Dera Ismail Khan, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Nowshera, Peshawar, Shangla, Swat, Tank and Kohistan – were declared “severely affected”; Bannu, Battagram, Chital, Karak, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Malakand, Mansehra and Swabi were called “medium affected”; Buner, Hangu, Mardan and Abbottabad were listed as “least affected.”
On top of this, more monsoon rains and flooding are on the way according to Pakistanmeteorological department the rains may continue till end of August.
Millions of homes in thousands of villages and towns were destroyed and over 20 Million people have been affected by this disaster.
During the flood disaster that had left Pakistan devastated & sorrowful, the international community rendered their services selflessly for the Rehabilitation & Reconstruction of our fellow “Pakistanis”. They provided food items, tents, medicines, dry milk, flour, grains, pulses and other necessary items.Infrastructure such as dams, power stations, roads, bridges, schools, agriculture wells, and drinking water hand pumps were severely damaged.
Last year, unexpected flood caused mass destruction. This year keeping in view the expected flood and to deal with the urgent situation the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has tabulated a combined and articulated line of action to ensure protection of the lives and properties of the people of the province. The provincial government has established a control room in PDMA in this connection. This control room will be working round the clock. Along with this, the provincial disaster management authority has directed to finalize all arrangements to deal with the natural calamities. Necessary funds have been provided to DCOs, so as to utilize the funds in case of emergency.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Health has directed to improve emergency in the district headquarters hospitals, keeping in view the possible danger of the flood, in the 8 districts of Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Kohistan, Dir (Upper), Dir (Lower), Tank and D.I.Khan and committees have also been constituted in this connection with DCOs of the respective districts as a head. Details regarding life saving drugs and resources available in the hospital in case of flood have been demanded.
Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has directed to accelerate work on installation of the Early Flood Warning pre-emptive informing the flood system on the different places of the province and to immediately abolish encroachments and illegal settlements along with the edges of the rivers keeping in view rainfall and as a result of it dangers of the flood. It is worth mentioning that this system is being established under the directives of chief secretary.
District Administration Peshawar has scheduled protection plan on May 20, for protection from flood. According to the plan administrators of all the four towns have been directed to buy, drinking water pumps for drainage of water in the beneath areas, cleanliness of Shahi Khatha and remove encroachments along with rivers and cannels on urgent basis. While PDMA has been directed to have one lakh shuttering bags as a protection bunds along with edges of rivers Kabul, Naguman, Shah Alam and Bara so as to prevent the flood waters from entering into residential areas.
Now it is necessary that departments will have to take steps to perform their duties and responsibilities in the light of these directives so as dangers of heavy rainfalls may not be proved a preamble of a great destruction like previous years.