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Flood-hit landless, small farmers waiting for relief




  • Sindh government has yet not announce Rabi package for poor farmers who were badly affected by flash and rain floods in worst districts of Jacobabad, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Khairpur and other rain-hit districts of Sindh in 2012. It has been revealed in a Civil Society Flood Situation Report released by Peoples Accountability Commission on Floods (PACF) here on Friday. 

    The situation report titled ‘Community Perspectives on 2012 Floods’ stated that 1,018,194 acres of land in 2012 rain and flash floods badly hit Kandhkot Kashmore, Jacobabad , Kambar , Khairpur Mirs, Ghotki , Sanghar, Larkana, Umerkot, Hyderabad and Shakirpur. Sindh government could not announce any rehabilitation package for small farmers. Poor response from govt further pushes them into malnutrition in worst hit districts of Kandhkot, Kashmore, Jacobabad and Ghotki districts. 

    PACF report stated that in Kashmore Kandhkot, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, and Ghotki over 70 percent of crops perished and farmers are unable to cultivate Rabi crops in winter season and still rain water inundated land. PACF report narrated that during research interviews being conducted by Peoples Accountability Commission on floods team, majority of poor peasants who have small size of land or having labour in landlords land revealed that Sindh govt during 2010, 2011 floods distributed agriculture input among big land holding zaimdars and there was no package given to poor farmers by govt. 

    PACF report further narrated that majority of poor farmers who only depend on share cropping land revenue and livestock for their livelihood are living miserable lives in spontaneous camps and they don’t have adequate food and health facilities. PACF report stated that it was observed that large numbers of rain-hit people were forcibly evacuated from camps. 

    PACF report quoting Bablo Jakhrani of Jacobabad district said that their land, houses and livestock perished in flash floods but district administration is forcing them to evacuate government buildings. PACF report stated that still large numbers of rain victims are living in spontaneous settlements despite passage of two months to flood devastation. They are deprived of tents, potable water, food assistance and protection, report added. 

    Poor and slow response by Sindh government and relief agencies further aggravated the situation in districts of Jacobabad. They are still awaiting assistance from Sindh govt, relief agencies and they are forced to live under open sky without having any shelter, food, water and protection facilities, PACF reported added. PACF report further pointed out that due to heavy damage to agriculture economy in rain-hit districts of Jacobabad and Kandhkot Kashmore, Shakirpur, 

    Gohtki further enhanced malnutrition among poor and worst affected communities. PACF report further stated that rain affected districts administrations lacked proper data of damages occurred during rain devastation and urged NGOs to assess the situation of the losses and damages. 

    PACF report added that affected districts are lacking trained staff to conduct assessment and Multi Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) was being recently done by UNOCHA and it was delayed because of difference between UNOCHA and Sindh government and it further delayed funding in different sectors to provide adequate relief to rain-hit victims. 

    PACF report recommended that dewatering efforts should be enhanced by district administrations of affected districts so that Rabi crops can be cultivated timely. There should be transparent mechanisms to assure the equitable distribution of Rabi package to the landless and small farmers so that issues of most vulnerable can be addressed on priority basis. Those whose land is yet inundated and where Rabi crop may not be cultivated should be prioritised for further relief services sot that food insecurity and vulnerabilities of the affected communities can be minimised and curtailed.-PR 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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