The Kaccho area of District Johi, which is ravaged by the flash floods, is getting little attention. Here, the nature of the flood is different. If there are moderate rains in Balochistan, water through Nai Gaj, which originates from Khuzdar, Balochistan, descends from thousands of feet rapidly from Khirthar Mountains down to the sandy Kachho plain. The sheer forces and swiftness of floodwater gives no time to the residents for evacuation. This happened on August 7th when 25 feet flow of Nai Gaj swiftly inundated the treks of Kachho. People perched on trees and higher places. Poorly constructed roads, culverts and other public infrastructure were wiped off with the first flow. People remained stranded for weeks and still, the majority of the area remains disconnected. Nai Nali, another torrential stream, flooded the town Wahi Pandhi, where two women and one child lost lives. The damage to crops, livestock, houses and public infrastructure is huge. The farmers who depend on floodwater to irrigate their land have incurred expenses on land preparation and seed at least three times now this year, but with each flood, the successive streamflow or heavy rain shower results in wastage of their expense.

Farmers complain that the sacks of cluster bean and sorghum, which traditionally sold for Rs8000, are now being sold for Rs 15000. Besides relief and rehabilitation of homes, the government and humanitarian organisations should come forward to support small farmers in seed and land preparation urgently as sowing season of sorghum and cluster bean is fast ending. If farmers are not supported timely, thousands of acres of well-irrigated land would remain uncultivated and farmers would have to wait for the next crop of mustard. Furthermore, government departments, the ruling party elected representatives, party workers and civil society organisations have worked well to provide rescue and relief services but due to disconnection of road communication, majority of those who were stranded and affected were unreachable This is due to the inaction of the concerned departments during pre-disaster preparedness. Dysfunctional early warning systems and substandard material used in the construction of public infrastructure multiplied the impact of the disaster. It is hoped that during the reconstruction of public infrastructure, nepotism and commission culture is eradicated so that in future public infrastructure withstands the flood and people are not stranded for a long time.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi.