KARACHI - Keeping in view drought-like situation in 148 villages of seven districts of the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to distribute wheat among the affected families and provide them fodder and vaccination for their cattle.

He took this decision on Tuesday here at CM House while presiding over a high-level meeting. The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Health Dr Azra Pehuho, Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu, Minister for Education Sardar Shah, Chief Secretary Major (rtd) Azam Suleman, Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Senior member BOR Dr Iqbal Durani, Secretary Fisheries & Livestock Dr Fazal Pechuho, Secretary Health Dr Usman Chachar, Secretary Agriculture SHafiq Mahesar, Secretary Local Government Khalid Hyder Shah, Secretary Food Rafiq Buriro and other concerned officers.

The chief minister in the last cabinet meeting had constituted a committee under Senior Member Board of Revenue Dr Iqbal Durani with Secretary Livestock, Secretary Health, Secretary Agriculture, Secretary PHED, Commissioner Mirpurkhas, and deputy commissioners of Thar, Umerkot and Sanghar.

The committee has the task of consultation with all the major stakeholders, including civil administration and civil society to understand the extent of drought, past relief measures and mechanism, impact and requirement of affected people.

Dr Iqbal Durani briefing the chief minister said that his committee held a meeting on August 21 and then visited drought affected areas from August 24 to 25, 2018. The committee had also held meetings with divisional and district officers and members of civil society to have a clear view of the situation.

The committee reported that there was drought in 167 dehs of Thar (excluding five dehs of barrage area), 25 of Umerkot, 88 of Dadu, six of Thatta, 22 of Kambar Shahdadkot, seven of Sanbghar and a large part of Chundko taluka of District Khairpur. It was pointed out that wheat distribution is already in process on the basis of BISP database under which175, 565 families are beneficiaries, including 87,565  of Thar, 15442 of Umerkot, 14,000 of Sanghar, 19791 of Dadu, 47,945 of Jamshoro, 822 of Kambar Shahdadkot districts.

The chief minister said that wheat distribution mechanism much be transparent with third party evaluation. He added that wheat already available with food department must be distributed on the basis of UC based score card holders. 

SMBR Iqbal Durani also told the chief minister that the water shortage was another major issue. At this the chief minister said that he has a report that out of 590 RO plants 443 are functional and 147 non-functional due to the problems of electricity and other issues. He also said that 237 RO plants have been converted on Solar energy and conversion o others was in progress.

The meeting was told that out of 81 water supply schemes 43 are functional and 38 are non-functional. At this the chief minister directed Public Health Engineering department to make all the un-functional water supply operational and report him. He also directed the PHE department and district administration to make necessary arrangements to provide drinking water to the affected villages through tankers. The chief minister also said that the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) would also held them in distribution of water tankers.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that there was no mechanism for herd management; no data was available regarding composition and body of herd and feed supplies. He directed Secretary Livestock to work out a plan to for herd mechanism.  “I want a holistic approach to address drought such as wheat, fodder, water and medicine,” he concluded.