KARACHI - Noted experts, intellectuals, writers, human rights activists and civil society representatives have expressed grave concern over the failure of the federal and provincial governments in providing adequate relief and early recovery to people affected or uprooted by this year’s heavy rainfall and ensuing floods in Sindh and Balochistan. A consultative meeting convened by the People’s Accountability Commission on Floods (PACF) at its Participatory Development Initiatives head-office in Karachi, expressed serious concerns over the governments’ inability to match the disaster scale. The speakers – Raheema Panhwar of the SPO, Rauf Nizamani, Saleem Abbasi, Saeed Sarbazi Baloch, Faheem Raza, Nisar Mehommad, Nisar Sheikh, Roomana Lakho, Ramzan Memon, Ismail Khunbar, Shabnam Palejo, Fazal Sulman Qazi – said it worried the people of Sindh that despite the devastation from floods in the years of 2010, 2011 and 2012 affected around 3,174,716 people, destroyed crops over 245,459 acres of land, the government was done with only five per cent of relief works and 95 per cent of the affected people remained deprived of government support in Sindh.  Likewise, they added, relief activities could reach only two per cent of flood survivors in Balochistan, where nearly 984,401 people were displaced and crops over 402, 535 acres of cultivable land were ruined by the rains and floods. They said that it was the responsibility of the government to assure dewatering, so that the people could develop their shelters and start cultivating to eke out a livelihood. They also observed that many areas were still under water two months after the rains and floods. The speakers expressed grave concern over the poor response from government to offset the problems facing flood affected people. They were dismayed that a large numbers of rain-affected people were kept from relief activities and left on the mercy of God. They observed that humanitarian organisations should take into consideration the cultural sensitivities while providing relief and recovery services. “Indigenous resources should for relief services rather than taking from other sources if possible.” They demanded that monitoring be ensured for the equitable provision of relief and rehabilitation services. They also demanded that sustainability of the programs of developments and disaster risk-reduction component should made crucial part of the development programmes. The speakers asserted that in Sindh, the mandate of the authorities were not clear like the PDMA, Relief Department, DC Office, DDMA and Members of the national and provincial assembly during relief and recovery services. They observed that corporate social responsibility should be fulfilled, particularly in the periphery areas of oil and Gas Company which were backward and affected and badly hit in flooding. They demanded that permanent helpline and main control room be established to support generating data for disaster mitigation.The meeting also observed that the recovery and rehabilitation plan envisaged by the humanitarian agencies were stopped due to the callous attitude of the government. The schools damaged in flood 2011 are waiting to be rehabilitated.They added that during the disaster it was observed that inter provincial influx of the affected peoples in mega cities were being seen as a point of suspicion. New settlements are being discouraged on political basis and this trend should be stopped. They added that there was strong need to verify the claims made by the government about quality work of repair and reconstruction of irrigation channels and roads.They added that disaster related funds, effective contingency planning, irrigation infrastructure and relief services should be taken seriously to minimize the impact of the disasters.