Too little, too late?


The UN as well as the government has appealed to the international community to provide $365 million to help the flood affectees. The appeal has been made rather too late and, as per reports, the scale of the disaster is so dreadfully large that it has hit almost all parts of Sindh.

It appears that the government was either in a state of slumber or it deliberately did not want to get into action to help the flood victims. PM Gilani for instance the other day confessed that the government did not know that the floods could wreck havoc at such a large scale. In fact one even wonders whether there is wisdom in asking for $365 million when indeed the calamity is of horrific proportions. Such was the fury of monsoon rains that entire villages and cities which were once bustling with life and business have now been turned into ominous rivers and lakes.

So far as our own government is concerned, it has been only showing utter lack of action. Once again, its failure with respect to disaster management is visible but even more painful is the fact that even in this distressful time, there have been reports of corruption and mismanagement. It is quite sad that as one official dealing with relief efforts revealed that even if 25 percent of the total amount that had been allocated for the rescue and rehabilitation work was transparently spent, it could make a difference. Similarly, we had already witnessed that the victims of the last years’ floods are still without food and shelter.

It is definitely a relief to see the Prime Minister cancelling his visit to the UN General Assembly in the US giving priority to the flood affectees but what is the use of cancelling the trip if he doesn’t sincerely ensure that every displaced person is looked after.

Immediate action on the part of the PM is needed because with the passage of time, deadly water-borne diseases are spreading and taking their toll on the hapless people. And finally lets us not forget that we ought to build reservoirs both large and small without further delay.