After hitting two districts in Balochistan and three in Sindh, flood water is now streaming into the Hamal Lake of Qambar in the Shahdadkot district, swelling the lake dangerously close to its 0.1 MAF (million acre feet) capacity.
Sindh Relief Minister Haleem Adil Shaikh said this massive influx water was unexpected; hence it is too early to gauge the damage it will cause.
Calling it a disastrous development, the minister said that the water may hit Qubo Saeed Khan and other towns in Shahdadkot and the adjoining Dadu districts.
The ferocity of the flood water can be gauged by the fact that it has washed away all five gates from Right Bank Outfall Drain’s (RBOD) 111 Bridge at RD-116, installed a few years back.
If the direction of the flood stream is not maneuvered, it will cause further displacement of 250,000-300,000 people, since the route being taken by the flood is the same as the 2010 flood, the minister said, quoting irrigation officials.
“I am there with my team. I have seen hundreds of people coming out in search of safer places as the water is approaching,” he said.
The relief minister claimed that his department has set up a camp office at Chukhi Town to monitor the situation and extend help to the affected.
Families living in Osta Mohammed town and adjoining regions have already started evacuating the area. The government is unable to stop the flood water or give it a safe way to stream into Manchhar Lake, as that will lead to mass displacement and further destruction.
People living in Qambar-Shahdadkot and Dadu districts are now facing uncertainty as after 13 days; the rain water has taken a new turn to flow towards the areas, which were badly affected by the flood-2010.
The minister said they have arranged 20,000 more tents for the affected people with relief goods to help them in this difficult time. Ishaq Meerani, a community activist from Kandhkot, Kashmor district said that the water level has not dropped yet.
“Hundreds of people are still trapped in distant areas in desperate need of help. Livestock is dying of hunger.”
He said there are fears of diseases spreading as people in the area are using stagnant water.
The government claims that 213,400 persons have been displaced in the Kashmor district and 53275 total houses were damaged. But the locals say the displacement and loss could be more.
Crops standing on 136,500 acres out of total 175,000 acres land have already been destroyed.
Munawar Langah a humanitarian worker from Jacobabad said that since there is no safe drainage system, the water is streaming to different directions. He further said that there is poor response by humanitarian organizations which is why the people are crying for basic relief items.
The flood affected 890,000 people in Jacobabad district with displacement of 195,645 persons. The number of houses damaged is estimated to be 85,000.
Mustafa Meerani, a local of from Manchhar Lake said that if the water volume increased more than 20,000 cusec, it may affect the people in Sehwan Taluka, Jamshoro district.
Otherwise, he said, now the water level in the River Indus has dropped and additional water from the Manchhar Lake is being discharged into the river through its tributaries.
However, residents living in all the areas affected by the previous 2010-flood, are facing uncertain situation.