Over 121 children have died due to malnourishment caused by the drought and the subsequent famine in Thar in the past 3 months. Yet we continue to hear reports of the wheat rotting in the warehouses of the government, and waiting to be distributed to people that really need it. The government’s response is delayed and insufficient as usual, and only came about after being prompted by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He has ordered the Sindh government to provide relief to the people suffering in Thar and led to the Sindh government making frantic but ultimately useless efforts that only promise a paltry 25 kg of wheat to every family, and is topped off with the usual visit to the hospital by some government official; in this case the Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

 Also, why must someone who currently holds no position in government, tell the government to do its job? Yet, the media is lush with reports that Bilawal Bhutto (who has no right to delegate tasks to the provincial government), has ordered the Sindh government to start a relief operation. This sounds a tad ridiculous, even if he is the patron in chief of the party that currently holds the mandate in Sindh.

In an area that is frequently ravaged by drought, a system needs to be implemented before people start dying, and not after. Thar faces a drought every 2 or 3 years, and technological advancements in weather forecasting can easily be used to predict when the next one is going to occur. Lethargy on the part of the government is intolerable, and the people should not have to protest every time they need something. Politicians looking to capitalize on such issues are not the answer either. Relief management by the government has almost always come too late, and has been badly managed. For once, it would be nice to see the government on top of things as they happen, and not when somebody (with no real authority), reminds them that their job is to look out for their people.