Provinces of Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), bear the brunt of the catastrophe. Floods in these regions take a heavy toll on the lives of people, destroy standing crops and demolish or damage countless homes.

With the onset of the monsoon season massive floods have engulfed major parts of the country. While taking a heavy toll on lives of the poor people dwelling in the densely populated rural areas of the country, the onslaught of the floods, as reported by Pakistan’s media, has also so far raised more than 2,700 settlements to the ground in the flood-torn areas. In the process, as reported in the media, roughly 0.7 million innocent people have so far been rendered homeless, and are passing sleepless nights under the open sky.

The gallant jawans and officers of the Pakistan Army, the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and government bodies like National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) have all become active and are tirelessly involved rescuing the marooned and devastated people in the flood affected regions of the country. The Pakistan Army and the bodies referred above are also hectically engaged in providing necessary relief (such as food, medicine, temporary shelter) to the affected people.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Nawaz Sharif, taking a serious note of the devastation caused by the ongoing floods in the country has announced massive financial support, running into billions, for relief and rehabilitation work to be undertaken in the areas severely struck by the catastrophe. The efforts of the incumbent government, the Pakistan Army and other non governmental bodies, to deal with the situation on war footings and alleviate the sufferings of the flood affected people, are worthy of genuine appreciation. What, however, is excruciatingly painful is the failure of those at the helm in the country to find a permanent solution to this grave problem.

It is a known fact that seasonal floods have become a regular feature in this country. This menacingly devastating problem has, in fact, grown out of controllable proportions particularly over the past three decades. Nonchalant attitude of those concerned towards the resolution of this gigantic and critically people-centred problem has made this problem grow over time and take a heavy toll on the suffering (downtrodden) millions of this country. Where does the solution to this serious problem lie? The solution to this problem lies in building of mega dams. This, in fact, is the only way to survival. Building mega dams must be declared a national priority. Needless to say, if this is not done Pakistan would confront severe water scarcity. Construction of dams across the country would not only help resolve the recurring flood issue but also help generating cheap hydro electricity that is badly needed to meet the electricity needs of the country.

M. FAZAL ELAHI,

Islamabad, August 11.