PDMA doing president’s home district a favour?


Even though monsoon rains and the swollen Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) have inundated most of Tharparkar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Sanghar districts, officials of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have declared President Asif Ali Zardari’s home district Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah) as the worst affected district in the province after Badin.
Sources in the PDMA told Pakistan Today that authority kept Nawabshah second on the list on the directives of President House so that a huge chunk of relief goods could be allocated for the district – an attempt to appease the people there who are disappointed with the Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party government over its poor performance in the area.
Independent relief workers, nongovernmental organisations and others working in the rain-hit areas had assessed that Umerkot, Sanghar and Mirpurkhas are the worst hit districts after Badin.
In a report issued on Monday carrying rain disaster data till September 16, the PDMA authorities declared that 6.50 million people have been directly affected by the rains, 342 dead, 20.5 million acres of standing crop completely damaged and five million acres of agricultural land ready for the next crop inundated.
The credibility of the report can be gauged from the anomaly in it that out of the 6.50 million people affected, there were only 141,644 women and 194,333 children.
According to the report, 1.4 million houses were damaged in the rain-hit areas and 31,960 villages damaged.
However, the report did not mention the number of heritage sites, graveyards, schools, healthcare facilities, metallic roads, religious places, water supply schemes, markets, canals and bridges destroyed in the rains and the consequent floods.
It also did not carry any statistics on the death of livestock and wildlife.
In the report, PDMA Saleh Farooqui stated that 2,737 relief camps have been set up in the disaster-hit areas where 482,899 affected people including 146,992 men, 141,644 women and 194,333 children have been accommodated and provided necessary living facilities.
Providing data about the affected people, he said that 1,021,301 people have been affected by the rains in Badin, 927,953 in Khairpur, 900,000 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 823,448 in Umerkot, 705,151 in Mirpurkhas, 477,523 in Sanghar, 267,368 in Tando Muhammad Khan, 253,982 in Tando Allahyar, 291,216 in Dadu, 178,151 in Thatta, 127,454 in Tharparkar, 172,067 in Ghotki, 100,000 in Matiari, 145,030 in Kamber, 91,400 in Hyderabad, 54,355 in Larkana, 48,672 in Nausheroferoze, 12,610 in Kashmore, 8,450 in Jamshoro, 335 in Jacobabad, 75 in Shikarpur and four in Karachi.  
Giving the details of the houses damaged during the rains, he said that Badin district was the worst hit with 382,562 damaged houses while there were 300,000 damaged houses houses in Shaheed Benazirabad, 190,715 in Umerkot, 118,110 houses in Mirpurkhas, 122,703 in Sanghar, 75,049 in Jamshoro, 50,800 in Tando Muhammad Khan, 27,697 in Tando Allahyar, 4,202 in Hyderabad, 1,688 in Jacobabad, 32,060 in Ghotki, 15,201 in Dadu, 11,429 in Khairpur, 5,794 in Larkana, 700 in Matiari, 15,941 in Nausheroferoze, 15,458 in Tharparkar, 11,325 in Thatta, 5,242 in Kamber, 1,620 in Kashmore, 30 in Shikarpur and five in Karachi.
Citing data on affected villages, he said that overall 31,960 villages were hit by rains and floods including 6,395 in Badin, 480 in Dadu, 1,361 in Ghotki, 318 in Hyderabad, one in Jacobabad, 614 in Jamshoro, 388 in Kamber, 105 in Kashmore, 408 in Larkana, 5,770 in Mirpurkhas, 1,480 in Nausheroferoze, 3,104 in Sanghar, 4,104 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 1,254 in Tando Allahyar, 1,555 in Tando Muhammad Khan, 1,357 in Tharparkar, 630 in Thatta, 2,629 in Umerkot and seven in Shikarpur.
The PDMA director general stated in the report that 342 people lost their lives in rain-related accidents, 43 of them from Mirpurkhas, 31 from Sanghar, 30 from Badin, 18 from Dadu, 11 from Ghotki, 11 from Hyderabad, two from Jacobabad, nine from Jamshoro, six from Kamber, four from Kashmore, eight from Khairpur, six from Larkana, 19 from Matiari, 24 from Naushehroferoze, 22 from Shaheed Benazirabad, three from Shikarpur, one from Sukkur, two from Tando Allahyar, 14 from Tando Muhammad Khan, 15 from Tharparkar, 18 from Thatta, 20 from Umerkot and 25 from Karachi.
According to the report, 5,938,296 acres of land have been affected including 984,805 acres in Badin, 187,811 acres in Dadu, 259,717 acres in Ghotki, 81,752 acres in Hyderabad, 600 acres in Jacobabad, 28,081 acres in Jamshoro, 150,600 in Kamber, 29,280 in Kashmore, 412,862 acres in Khairpur, 12,793 acres in Larkana, 54,700 acres in Matiari, 819,833 acres in Mirpurkhas, 698,434 acres in Nausheroferoze, 817,914 acres in Sanghar, 2,500 acres in Shikarpur, 369,685 acres in Tando Allahyar, 344,070 acres in Tando Muhammad Khan, 51,782 in Tharparkar, 198,111 in Thatta and 932,966 acres in Umerkot.
Standing crops over 2,049,023 acres were badly damaged including 375,718 acres in Badin, 88,043 acres in Dadu, 68,679 acres in Ghotki, 25,018 acres in Hyderabad, 3,594 acres in Jacobabad, 36,821 acres in Jamshoro, 4,192 acres in Kamber, 14,532 acres in Kashmore, 117,350 acres in Khairpur, 5,396 acres in Larkana, 75,342 acres in Matiari, 165,278 acres in Mirpurkhas, 61,829 acres in Nausheroferoze, 356,473 acres in Sanghar, 163,250 acres in Shaheed Benazirabad, 20,218 acres in Shikarpur, 25,703 acres in Sukkur, 81,645 acres in Tando Allahyar, 78,038 acres in Tando Muhammad Khan, 12,647 acres in Tharparkar, 160,954 acres in Thatta and 108,303 acres in Umerkot.