The flood menace which causes immense damage to our life and property has become the Pakistans regular feature. The current years rampage has so far caused a damage of Rs. 130 billion required to rehabilitate over one million people who have been uprooted and to compensate for the loss of property and standing crop in the province of Sindh only. The Indian spilled water in Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej has played havoc with Narowal, Kasur, Sahiwal and some other districts of Punjab where some villages have been completely wiped out. Though Rescue-1122 and army personnel conducted rescue operations, still hundreds of people uprooted by the floods remain unsettled. Some experts have expressed the view that the floods might have been prevented if 'Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) mechanisms were installed in the flood prone areas. The above measures may be useful but in my opinion the excessive silting of our rivers having drastically reduced their water storage capacity has rendered the waterways vulnerable to floods. Just visit Ravi in winters when there is no water in the river and you will find that the river bed is only 2-3 feet lower than the river bank. Apart from cattle searching for food in the river you will also see the residents of adjacent villages walking about on the river bed at times crossing from one end to the other. This is not what a river should be. In the present situation it is obvious that any volume of excess water will overflow the river banks causing floods. The dredging of rivers is perhaps not on the agenda of our Ministry/department of irrigation. To prevent floods and save billions spent on damages it is imperative that all rivers are dredged by at least ten feet. In a ceremony recently held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani mentioned that our government had asked the Indian government to honour water accord with Pakistan. Among other clauses of the agreement the most important being the release of our legitimate share of water, which we are incapable of absorbing at the moment. The dredging of rivers is thus the only solution for raising our capacity to store water. RAFI NASIM, Lahore, August 27.