Due to varied climatic and geological dynamics in the flood-hit regions of Sindh, the drainage of floodwater there could take times varying from the just next 15 days to three months.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said this while addressing a press conference on Monday. He said many flood victims residing in makeshift shelters in the province had started returning to their native areas as floodwaters had receded there.
He told the media that up to 30 per cent of the displaced flood victims who had been staying in the relief camps in Hyderabad had already returned to their native villages and towns after the flood situation had normalised.
Memon claimed that the relevant district administration had been providing transport and food rations to the returning flood victims. He said the heavy machinery available with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had been mobilised to drain floodwaters from the disaster-hit areas.
The information minister also appealed to the philanthropists and non-government organisations to provide machinery for draining floodwaters off the affected areas. He said the reconstruction of the damaged houses would be an important component of the drive to be launched by the Sindh government to rehabilitate the flood victims in their native areas.
He explained that the reconstruction of each of the damaged dwelling units could cost around Rs500,000. Memon said that several concerned charities and philanthropists from outside Pakistan had contacted the government with the intention to build model houses for the homeless flood victims.
He appealed to the philanthropists having the financial strength to rebuild entire villages devastated by the floods to come forward and help out the Sindh government in its flood rehabilitation drive.
Memon said that Sindh had been most affected by the recent floods and rains and it was obligatory for the rest of Pakistan and the international community to take part in the flood relief drive in the province.
He informed the media persons that the Sindh government from Tuesday (today) would establish stalls in the selected areas of the province to ensure availability of wheat flour at subsidised rates to help out the underprivileged people.
The information minister said the Sindh health department, People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative, armed forces of Pakistan and welfare organisations had been providing emergency medical assistance to protect the health of the flood victims.
He informed the media that some 6,963 stationary camps and 7,920 mobile units had been providing emergency medical aid to the flood-hit people. A total of 19,536 expert doctors, 39,600 paramedical staff and 1,792 volunteers had been providing voluntary medical services, he said, adding that the makeshift health facilities had so far treated 3.14 million patients among the flood victims.
Memon explained that these patients, included 638,970 cases of diarrhoea, 703,340 people suffering from skin diseases, 621,319 patients having respiratory issues, 294,519 suspected cases of malaria, 15,179 confirmed cases of malaria and 1,284 patients of dengue.
He said that necessary medical attention, including provision of food supplements, had been given to 9,460 pregnant women in the relief camps and 3,711 of them had given birth.