Unrelenting downpours over the last two months have devastated Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh.
The districts of Sujawal, Tando Muhammad Khan and Badin rank among the most-affected across the region. Over two dozen villages stand inundated after the Indus surged in Thatta and Sujawal districts, according to authorities. A district functionary said villagers had been instructed to immediately evacuate. Floodwater, he said, was racing to envelope all low-lying areas across the districts.
Much of the two districts have transformed into ‘tent cities’ where hundreds of families have sought refuge. Over 17,000 have been displaced in Sujawal district alone. Coastal areas Taluka Jati and Shahbandar are worst impacted. Eleven bridges have been damaged and 8,176 acres of agricultural land are deluged. Three union councils are at the mercy of rising sea tides. Dykes along Jati Drain and Karo Gungro Sim Nullah have been breached.
Allegation of nepotism have been marring relief activities separately. Muhammad Siddique, who hails from village Noor Muhammad, alleged feudals and politicos working in tandem had ‘reserved’ relief goods for their ‘favourites’.
Noor Bux, another affectee, claimed to have lost three cattle heads in the floods. His livelihood was at stake, he said.
Unavailability of anti-venom has left residents of Jati further vulnerable. An aged man perished earlier after being bitten by a snake. Efforts to secure some came to naught.
Sujawal, Tando Muhammad Khan and Badin districts were devastated earlier in the 2020 Sindh monsoon floods. Citizens’ misery was further compounded by rising sea levels. Scores were compelled to relocate to higher ground where they have been struggling since then.