“We still need help”

Audio | English | اردو

Mir Changaiz Khan Jamali (MJ): My name is Mir Changaiz Khan Jamali. And my link is to Jaffarabad. My area is Jaffarabad-cum-Naseerabad, NA-266.

Tanqeed (TQ): According to the National Development Management Authority (NDMA) figures, approximately 500 people have died because of the floods, approximately 3000 people have been injured and 5 million people are affected in all of Pakistan. What are your thoughts about these numbers. And in your opinion, what is the status of deaths and losses.

MJ: I believe that according to our registration, approximately 150 to 200 have died. Otherwise, because our area also touches Dera Bugti, then approximately 500 to 600 have died. But there are different reasons for why they have not been registered. But for the moment we count just these, the 150 to 200. And at the same time there have been injuries, but not so many. In our area, cattle has also been damaged. Houses have also been damaged. And crops have also been damaged.

TQ: So do you feel the NDMA numbers are too low?

MJ: Well no I don’t think they’re too low. I think there is probably a reason for why cases have not been registered. Different departments get involved. Then the bodies can be so far away, in farflung areas. Then it is a tribal society. It is up to some whether they want to register or not. And then after that, even if they do that, there are many different ways. You have to take a medical officer. The police gets involved. So I think these are a few reasons for why they might not be getting registered.

TQ: What is the status of victims? Also in other areas, if you know about them?

MJ: I think that in Jaffarabad, 20% of the area, or maybe even in 30%, things have not really settled. But in other areas, things have started settling. People are going back to their houses. They do not have homes, they are just sitting. I think that there is a population of about 800,000 people in both districts that have been affected. And 450,000 acres of land with crops have been affected. So the NDMA and PDMA have given things for relief, along with UN agencies. But I still think that between 40,000 and 60,000 to 70,000 families still need help. Especially because it is about to get cold. They need shelter, blankets, sowing crops like sugarcane and fertilizer. And later we need sunflower seeds. So in this if the government helps I think… At the same time there is a demand for Watan Cards. If Watan Cards can also happen, I feel there will be extra help.

TQ: If you like at aid and help from international organizations and from the NDMA, PDMA. Then do you think they have been able to complete their work? Is there a need for more donations or work at a higher level?

MJ: I think in terms of our area, the experience has been totally different. In damages. So I think that the NDMA and PDMA still has to do a lot more work, because about 150,000 to 200,000 families have been affected. So I think that until now more than half of the families still need help. And further I think that the UN organizations need to be asked for help. And the NGOs. But I think by March and April, so that people can be ready for the khaarif crop.

TQ: You have talked about shelter and cropping. What about rations and medicine?

MJ: The quantity of ration that they are giving is about right. About 40 kgs. But we still need medicine, especially for hepatitis. Because the water is not clean, then Hepatitis A, B, C has really risen. So to control this, and for clean water, we need a system. So we need more medicine.

TQ: So if you look at the aid that has come or not come from this flood. If you compare it with the 2010 floods, then what difference do you see?

MJ: Well I think because 2010 was on a larger scale and because all the provinces were affected, then at that point we were getting helped out. And NGOs came and donors came. And we got help from everywhere. This time I think the media did not highlight it. And people were not given awareness. So this time I think we did not get help.

TQ: What is the reason?

MJ: I think that the ones from Balochistan get beat from everywhere (har jaga maar kha jate hai). This is partially our own fault. But overall I think in the media and from other people. They only have verbal sympathy for Balochistan, but very little in their hearts.

TQ: In the end, what was the reason for these floods, and what needs to be done in the future so that these floods are not seen happening next year, in 2013.

MJ: So this is natural. And because of climate change and global warming. This is a case of late monsoons in our areas. At a time when there was hardly 5-10 millimeters of annual rainfall. But this time, within a day and a half, 450 millimeter of rain took place. Even if you look at Jacobabad, Naseerabaad. The Jhal Magsi area, Kandkhot, Kashmore, Shikarpur. And then there are already paddy crops, and it is a saline area. And when, on top of that, hill torrents come and these things combine, it then affects us.

What we need to plan for, I think is training for those in primary schools to elders for this environment. For these challenges. The other things is that these natural events will also happen in the future. Because of global warming we have been affected. So this pre-warning system, and after that the disaster management system, this needs to be more improved. We need to give more awareness. And we should be trained more in how we can do first aid. So I think in the future this can affect every country and our country is being affected especially much in the last three years. Whether this is about farmers, or the average man. There are even serious problems in urban areas. So we need to prepare for all of this.

TQ: Earlier you talked about irrigation structures and infrastructure. Could you also say some more about that?

MJ: Yes, all of these damages that have taken place. I first think that we are getting water from the kacchi plain side. Three rivers are coming. There should be delay action dams and these sort of dams there. Otherwise, as for our drainage system, we should have structures that can handle a minimum of 40,000 to 50,000 cusecs of water. Then the road encroachments… And the small number of bridges need to be increased. So that the blockages to water should be the least possible.

And third the RBOD (Right Bank Outfall Drain), which is always a problem between us and Sindh, with Balochistan… That we need to sit down and decide on. We also need to redesign that. So that we can protect ourselves in the future. Or else we will be beat every year (har saal maar khatein raihenge).

TQ: Some people say that natural factors happen, we can not really do anything about that. At most we can prepare. But when it comes to infrastructure. You have earlier showed a video, where you talk abou the Pat Feeder Canal, and you have spoken about the RBOD. They obstruct the hill torrents. This is a big problem. We can do something about this. We can strengthen them, we can increase the drainage capacity. You have also said before that the RBOD has not been finished, and that this is a big reason. Could you say a little about that? What do you think about this evaluation?

MJ: I have brought up the RBOD with the President, and the Prime Minister. Sindh’s Chief Minister. Our own Chief Minister. Our Governor. So everyone is saying we will sit down about this. But it is such that in our country the situation is always such that we have not been able to sit down in such a way. So WAPDA’s Sindh and Balochistan engineers all need to sit down and… About its future and research should also take place at the same time. The 2010 experiences. 2012… And this is coming after 150 to 200 years history. So I think this stuff needs to happen. Plus our future… That needs to be about structures like this… We need to think about… for houses. I just went to an exhibition. There it was about new structures, for example how houses should be—less or more warmth or cold. Then there are the rains. So we need to research or work on all of these things.

TQ: Thank you.

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2 Responses to “We still need help”

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