KARACHI - The organisations working in Sindh have expressed serious concern over the devastation and colossal loss of human lives and properties in many districts of upper Sindh, Balochistan and Southern Punjab due to recent flash flood. They said heavy monsoon rains have intensified the plight of people due to indifferent attitude of the government authorities, which have failed to provide timely rescue and relief to the affected people. The reports shared by the civil society representatives in a meeting held here on Thursday and quoting the government’s statement, observed that more than 2.6 million people have been affected due to rains and consequent floods. Families can be seen wadding through the deep water from flooded areas of Jacobabad, Kashmore in Sindh, Osta Mohammed, Jaffarabad and Naseerabad in Balochistan. The participants of the meeting said the government does not have resources to extend helping hand to the entire population. The leaders of a civil society, Sindh People’s Commission on Disaster Prevention and Management (SPCDPM) said the overall losses during this year’s rains and flood like situation in Kandhkot-Kashmor, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Khairpur, Kambar-Shahdadkot districts of Sindh, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad and Jhal Magsi districts of Balochistan are much more affected than the losses incurred during 2010 and 2011 floods. “A large number of people are still devoid of relief or rescue services and we fear a large population may face deaths due to hunger as the aid or assistance is not reaching to them because the roads and civil infrastructure system has been totally damaged in the affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan. The civil society activists expressed concern over apathy of the government, which has failed to provide relief and rescue services and is delaying in launching appeals to the United Nations and international donors to provide assistance to the people. The government had failed last year too when the government sat on the Sindh floods for over a month before filing an appeal with the UN agencies for help. There should be no compromise on the relief and rehabilitation of the affectees and saving lives should be the top priority of the state. They appealed to the government to looking into themattter. They said the recent rains had exposed the claims by the district governments regarding drainage system within urban centers, which had caused problem for the communities. The provincial assembly of Sindh also moved to amend the “Sindh Irrigation Act 1879” facilitating the removal of encroachments from the natural and artificial depression courses of the government land. This was to make way for a smooth flow of rain and floodwater averting the devastating impact of natural disaster that was witnessed in the past two years.  The commission members urged the government to ensure equal distribution of the relief and recovery provisions across the board and discourage any political interference in the process of relief assistance. State and non-state agencies involved in relief assistance should support local economies rather than impose imported solutions. The relief material and manpower engaged in service delivery must be drawn from local sources. The recovery and rehabilitation solutions must also be developed promoting and addressing the concerns of the local communities. Any move for water course diversion should be undertaken only in consultation with communities rather than at the behest of the landed elites. The state must pursue community input and support for all relief and rehabilitation assistance.