Tag Archives: Water

Focusing on an obsolete approach of energy generation

By Maria Soomro

Now a days , many so called experts have been laying stress on the building of dams as the solution to energy crisis.The stress has been seemingly laid on building Kalabag dam in order to generate more energy and increase agricultural productivity. Reality is different.The best experts in the science of Hydrology consider Building dams an obsolete approach towards controlling floods, energy generation and enhancing agricultural productivity.

Continue reading Focusing on an obsolete approach of energy generation

Massive Dublin Protest with One Clear Message: Irish Water ‘We Wont Pay’

BY

Once again tens of thousands of people marched in Dublin.  Saturday is the latest protest against the Irish government’s attempt at imposing a second charge for water. Today is the latest affirmation of overwhelming public opposition to this austerity measure to privatize the nations water, put in place by Ireland’s coalition government.

As if the message from the people of Ireland to their government wasn’t clear in September when thousands marched on Dublin after months of small yet effective community actions to disrupt the instillation of water meters. It should have been clear in October when thousands more marched on Dublin or at least clear that the resolve of the Irish wasn’t going to change. By the time thousands marched in November and again in December maybe the Irish government thought that waiting it out over the winter and making some early morning arrests on protest organizers might slow this whole movement down.

While we don’t know what is clear to the Irish Government, one thing is very clear to us, the people of Ireland are not going to pay twice for water or have their water privatized. The chants and banners are very clear ‘We Cant Pay – We Wont Pay’.

Today’s action in Dublin has made it clear to the rest of the world once again, that Irish Water will not be privatized.

Read more » http://revolution-news.com/massive-dublin-protest-with-one-clear-message-irish-water-we-wont-pay/

Nestlé: Stop draining Pakistan dry!

Nestlé is draining developing countries’ groundwater to make its Pure Life bottled water, destroying countries’ natural resources before forcing its people to buy their own water back.

Now Nestlé is moving into Pakistan and sucking up the local water supply, rendering entire areas uninhabitable in order to sell mineral-enriched water to the upper class as a status symbol, while the poor watch wells run dry and their children fall ill.

Read more » http://action.sumofus.org/a/nestle-water-pakistan/?sub=mtle

Save Rain Water for the Use

Israel’s ‘Rain Man’ conserves school water

Science teacher Amir Yechieli has a side business showing schools how to capture and reuse the rainwater that collects on their roofs.

By Karin Kloosterman

It was a nightmare: Half of the school’s outlying wall was ripped off in a storm as rainwater runoff caused more than $150,000 in damage.

But science teacher Amir Yechieli, 61 and father of two, saw the disaster as a chance to save the day. Yechieli had studied storm water runoff in the Sinai Desert for a master’s degree. He knows how it flows.

Yechieli figured that the same vast amount of winter rain that ripped the school apart could bring it back together. It could be used to flush the toilets and help better the students’ future ecologically.

“When I saw this, I calculated how much rain there could have been and figured out that the school roof could supply six months of water to the school. I turned to the principal and she said, ‘Good idea,’ and referred me to some funds. I got the funding and the next year I built the first system in the country,” he tells ISRAEL21c.

That was 15 years ago. Now, more than 120 schools later and heading a new company called Yevul Mayim, Yechieli is helping the nation of Israel collect rain.

By day, he teaches science at several schools near Jerusalem. By afternoon, and whenever else he can, Yechieli works with students and teachers to set up rainwater collection systems on the roof. He often does this on his own dime.

Read more » Israel21c.org
http://israel21c.org/environment/israels-rain-man-conserves-school-water/?utm_source=Newsletter+11%2F6%2F2013&utm_campaign=November+6%2C+2013&utm_medium=email

Theft unearthed: Sindh losing share as water goes missing

By Sarfaraz Memon

SUKKUR: At least 30,000 cusecs of water a day is unaccounted for between Chashma Barrage and Taunsa Barrage for over a week now, causing a shortage in all three barrages of Sindh.

“The water is either being stolen or is lost since May 30. Whenever fresh water arrives, a three to five per cent loss is factored in as some of it is absorbed by the embankments and some is lost to evaporation but losses of up to 30,000 cusecs is impossible,” a source in the irrigation department told The Express Tribune.

It is a common practice for influential landlords to divert water towards their lands or illegally suck out water through lift machines, particularly between Chashma and Taunsa and Taunsa and Guddu barrages, he said. This theft ultimately translates into a cut in Sindh’s water share and the authorities are doing nothing to curb this practice, he added.

The Sukkur Barrage control room in-charge, Abdul Aziz Soomro, said that they were concerned over as to where this huge quantity of water is going as it will affect the pond level of Guddu and Sukkur Barrage. He, too, said that a loss of 5,000 to 6,000 cusecs is acceptable but 30,000 cusecs is unfathomable.

Explaining the figures, he said that the travel time between Chashma and Taunsa is around two days and the discrepancy in the flow can be worked out by recording the flow downstream Chahsma, say on May 30, and upstream Taunsa on Jun 2.

Giving the overall water situation in Sindh, he said that upstream flow at Guddu Barrage was 83,050 cusecs while downstream it was 67,974 cusecs. At Sukkur Barrage, the flow was 67,240 and 24,250 upstream and downstream respectively while at Kotri the upstream flow stood at 11,936 cusecs. No water was being released downstream Kotri, he added.

Continue reading Theft unearthed: Sindh losing share as water goes missing

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

By: Olivia Ward, Foreign Affairs Reporter

Excerpt;

…. An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.

“By every measure, be it respect for treaty and land rights, levels of poverty, average life spans, violence against women and girls, dramatically disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration or access to government services such as housing, health care, education, water and child protection, indigenous peoples across Canada continue to face a grave human rights crisis,” it said. ….

Read more » The Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1304353–canada-gets-human-rights-failing-grade-from-amnesty-international

Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March – Sept 6, 2012

PPP has surrendered again, Police, Revenue and other imp subjects will be given to MQM Mayors.

Lets join hands, Awami Tahreek and Sindhiyani Tahreek will start a Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March on 6th Sept 2012 against Restoration of Musharaf-MQM Local Govt Ord, Zulfiqarabad, Water-Shortage, Unemployment, Crimes, Price-hike and Load-Shedding. Plz join and support.

Train March Schedule: Stop—– Arrival—— Departure-

KARACHI CANT 08:00:00 am, LANDHI- 08:29:00– 08:31:00, JUNGSHAHI- 09:19:00– 09:21:00, JHIMPIR- 09:46:00– 09:46:00, KOTRI JN- 10:35:00– 10:37:00, HYDERABAD JN- 10:50:00– 11:00:00, TANDO ADAM JN- 11:58:00– 12:00:00 SHAHDADPUR- 12:17:00– 12:19:00, NAWABSHAH JN- 12:50:00– 12:52:00, PAD IDAN JN- 13:40:00– 13:42:00, BHIRIA ROAD- 13:55:00– 13:57:00, MAHRABPUR JN- 14:21:00– 14:23:00, SETHARJA- 14:39:00– 14:41:00, RANIPUR RIYASAT- 14:56:00– 14:58:00, GAMBAT- 15:16:00– 15:18:00, KHAIRPUR- 15:50:00– 15:52:00, ROHRI JN- 16:30:00– 16:55:00, PANO AKIL- 17:23:00– 17:25:00, GHOTKI- 17:51:00– 17:53:00, MIRPUR MATHELO- 18:20:00– 18:22:00, DAHARKI- 18:38:00– 18:40:00, SADIKABAD- 19:25:00– 19:27:00, RAHIM YAR KHAN- 19:57:00– 19:59:00, KHANPUR JN- 20:52:00– 21:00:00, LIAQUATPUR- 21:33:00– 21:35:00, DERA NAWAB SAHIB- 22:06:00– 22:08:00, SAMASATA JN- 22:50:00– 22:52:00, BAHAWALPUR- 23:07:00– 23:11:00, SHUJABAD- 00:11:00– 00:13:00, MULTAN CANT- 00:50:00– 00:58:00, KHANEWAL JN- 01:45:00– 02:10:00, CHICHAWATNI- 03:32:00– 03:34:00, SAHIWAL- 04:22:00– 04:27:00, OKARA- 04:53:00– 04:55:00, PATTOKI- 05:29:00– 05:31:00, KOT RADHA KISHN- 05:58:00– 06:00:00, RAIWIND JN- 06:40:00– 06:42:00, KOT LAKHPAT- 07:21:00– 07:23:00, LAHORE JN- 08:00:00– 08:30:00, GUJRANWALA- 09:28:00– 09:33:00, WAZIRABAD JN- 10:10:00– 10:12:00, GUJRAT- 10:28:00– 10:30:00, LALA MUSA JN- 10:35:00– 11:00:00, KHARIAN CANT- 11:13:00– 11:18:00, JHELUM- 11:40:00– 11:42:00, GUJAR KHAN- 13:10:00– 13:12:00, CHAK LALA- 14:02:00– 14:04:00, RAWALPINDI- 14:15:00– 14:40:00

‘Downstream Kotri’

By: M Khan Sial, Karachi, Sindh

This refers to letter of Choudhry Hamid Malhi, Lahore (Aug 7) headlined above.

It was unfair to claim the so-called study of downstream Kotri was conducted by WAPDA in 2005, had approval of Sindh government. First of all, what was justification for WAPDA to delay the already agreed important survey for long period of 14 years of signing the Accord? This shows the malafide intentions of WAPDA against Sindh and as such WAPDA should clarify the reasons for delay and fix responsibility for this?

It was on record, the Sindh government had rejected the said so-called survey conducted by WAPDA as Sindh govt was not taken on board. Attending one or two meetings if any, does not mean, its decision had Sindh Government’s final approval.

If there is any approval of the so-called survey by Sindh government, WAPDA should release the copy of the agreement in media showing signatures of all concerned.

Later, the Sindh government had arranged survey through an international organisation as its own and as per media, it was recommended to release at least 10 MAF water annually downstream Kotri whereas internationally organised IUCN had also conducted the survey separately that recommended release of 32 to 35 MAF water annually as mandatory requirement. It was claimed that in WAPDA’s survey even it was agreed that 25 MAF water to be released within five years, but till today the said water was not released leaving Indus delta to ruin completely.

Continue reading ‘Downstream Kotri’

An appeal to Khadim-e-Aala

BY: MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, KARACHI, SINDH

Sindh Irrigation minister Saifullah Dharejo has repeatedly pointed out that Sindh’s share of water is being stolen through uplift pumps installed in the jurisdiction of Punjab for the past many years.

I request Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take stern action against those who have been stealing Sindh’s share of water as this is creating a serious rift between the two provinces. I also request Irsa to ensure delivery of Sindh’s share of water at Guddu instead of Taunsa/Chashma in Punjab.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

http://www.brecorder.com/articles-a-letters/188:letters/1225503:an-appeal-to-khadim-e-aala/?date=2012-08-09

Sindh’s missing water in Punjab

By: MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, Sindh

Sir: Water released in Punjab meant for Sindh is being frequently and daringly stolen for the last many years. As per press reports, a team comprising of Sindh’s engineers recently visited Punjab to find out the clue of missing water of 37 thousand cusecs from River Indus between Chashma and Taunsa barrages (both in Punjab) but obviously, they returned in disappointment due to the non-cooperative attitude of the Punjab government as usual.

This is not the first time that Sindh’s share of water has been stolen in Punjab’s jurisdiction. In the past, such incidents were echoed in the houses of parliament and Sindh Assembly but in vain. Unfortunately, such practices continued without any check for the last many decades. Meanwhile, Sindh’s irrigation minister, Saifullah Dharejo has recently shown his inability in public to stop incidents of stealing water in Punjab. Nonetheless, Sindh government has claimed that it has brought such incidents into the notice of the Punjab government numerous times without any improvement.

Continue reading Sindh’s missing water in Punjab

A Sindhi Engineer succeeded to run the CAR by water instead of Petrol/Diesel.

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Govt to support Water Fuel Kit Project: Cabinet body

By:

ISLAMABAD: A sub-committee of the Cabinet on Thursday reiterated the government’s commitment to support the Water Fuel Kit Project to tackle energy crisis in country.

The committee strongly encouraged the Water Fuel Kit Project, as the project designer presented a tremendous demonstration of car driving on the Water Fueling system.

The committee members highly appreciated the idea of Engineer Waqar Ahmad of introducing the Water Fueling system for automobiles in the country.

Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah, talking to media persons after having practical demonstration by Engineer Waqar, said that the government would provide full support to the Ministry of Science and Technology in the development of the system.

He asked the ministry and the Pakistan Engineering Council to float the feasibility of the project as soon as possible.

It is pertinent to mention that automobiles can be driven on Water Fueling system instead of consuming petrol or CNG fuels. Sukkur-based Engr Waqar had presented the idea before the Federal Religious Minister, who appreciated it and latter took it to the Cabinet, which made the sub-committee.

In today’s demonstration, the Federal Minister himself drove the car running on the water fuel.

Replying to a question, the minister maintained that the engineer would be provided with full security and the idea would also be kept secured.

The minister said that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh had also highly valued the project.

“We own this project, we will provide full support and we are committed to successfully complete the project” said the minister.

Continue reading A Sindhi Engineer succeeded to run the CAR by water instead of Petrol/Diesel.

Mohajir Sooba (Jinnahpur) conspiracy is a new occupation in the 21st century. A big NO by the people of Sindh to this occupation.

By: Comments of Sindhis on facebook

A big “fitna” (trouble) is raising its head as some former MQM legislators, Rabita Committee members and others have addressed a press conference and demanded a Mohajir Province (Jinnahpur). This is indeed a recipe for disaster in Pakistan. A big trouble ahead that will result in unprecedented bloodshed, which will not have different results than in Sri Lanka. The foolish demand is not only Alarming but could be a lethal as well because the fascist city group is a culprit as they have facilitating these efforts only for the sake of power or rather because the Master is same .

Why MQM can not learn from mistakes of others? Why they would insist on dividing people instead of bringing them together?

This is tantamount to a new occupation in the 21st century…!!!… occupations result in glory for the occupiers & slavery for the occupied.. .the people of Sindh prepare themselves to say a big NO to this occupation …

Though we know the history’s course is brutal and painful. It doesn’t give SUBSIDY (wazeefo) to indigenous people of Sindh (Sons of the soil). Tomorrow may all fascist groups will join each-other for their SHARE (BOTTY) pushing Sindhis into isolation. Now  days it is impossible to crush aboriginal, indigenous people. Take the example of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Kashmir and we have a long list to go on. Sindhis are the real and true sons of Sindh soil and let me assure you that  nobody can snatch our mother land.  yes, NOBODY. But I agree that JANG WADEE AAHEY SABHNEE KHEY QURBANI DIANI PAWANDEE.

PPP can’t afford to be hand in glove with the MQM in this conspiracy… international forces may push the MQM to do this to weaken the state of Pakistan. But the occupation of Sindh by the fascist city group is not so easy. It does not come by drawing maps. The capital city of Sindh, Karachi is inhibited by the people, belonging to each ethnicity in Pakistan. The MQM should be most worried from the deep state of Punjab than Sindhis. Majority of the population in Karachi belongs to Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa, who are otherwise well organized and have major economical interests in the city. Besides, Sindhis (the real sons of soil), MQM will have to face a lot from such ethnic population. We feel that the drama of division of Sindh is being staged by the deep state influenced by Punjab elite forces and the agencies, so as to create unrest in Sindh and at the same time garnering support against the creation of Seraiki province in Punjab.

During a research paper writing on ‘ethnic conflict in Sindh and democratization of Pakistan’ (thanks to Shuhab Usto for his intellectual input) an Urdu speaking (and a proud Sindh lover) asked a question ‘ Do you know why a little town of Khartoum took too many days to get captured by Anglo-Egyptian garrison and why a huge city Damascus was surrendered in hours to French forces?’- I kept quit and humbly requested the great social scientist, town planner and historian to explain. He said because Khartoum’s water line (river systems) was complicated and Damascus water lines (river systems) were simple to invade and capture. Then he confidently told me that please don’t be defensive while fighting/ arguing/ debating the case of Sindh’s integrity and sovereignty. He taught me that those who lives with this foolish and wishful thinking that the capital city Karachi shall be separated from rest of Sindh don’t forget that the principle flow of water of Indus to Karachi is like Damascus’s water supply.

This is a precious time to organize a mass campaign to mobilize the public opinion towards a united stand that ‎”There is no Sindh without it’s capital city Karachi. If we don’t for Sindh, we don’t fight for any thing else. Sindh will not be divided – not half n half, not 60-40, not 75-25, nothing. Full stop.”

Courtesy: Facebook/ Social media

Sindh – Lyari crisis

AS the police-led operation against ‘gangsters’ in Lyari entered its sixth day on Wednesday, the humanitarian plight of this forsaken Karachi neighbourhood’s residents has become a matter of serious concern. People have been without food, water, power and gas for the past several days while stray gunfire poses a constant threat. Many of those who could do so have already fled Lyari. The city has witnessed protests against the operation, with demonstrators clashing with the law-enforcers. Protesters claim the action is partial, targeting a particular ethnic group. And while the Sindh government announced it had started relief work for the hapless people on Tuesday, it appears no plan was chalked out to protect residents before the police went inside the area last week.

Continue reading Sindh – Lyari crisis

Civil Society of Sindh deeply concerned over the operation against the whole community and unavailability of water, food, medicines, electricity and nonexistent of basic necessities of life due to the unofficial curfew in Lyari.

Punhal Sario, Mustafa Baloch, Zulfiqar Shah, Amar Sindhu, Kashif Bajeer, Dr. Ashothama, Rizwan Abbassi, Rabail Aziz, Jabbar Bhatti of the Civil Society of Sindh shows deep concerns over the operation against children, women, and common citizens in Lyari-Karachi, Sindh in the context of confined innocent citizen of the area. The Civil Society of Sindh deeply concerned over the unavailability of water, food, medicines, electricity and natural gas supply for thousands of innocent citizens of the area since couple of the days due to ongoing operation in the lyari and fear deaths and health damages of the innocent citizens due to nonexistent of basic necessities of life. Therefore, civil society of Sindh demands to stop the operation against the citizens of Lyari and government should ensure all basic necessities of living specially water, food, emergency medical support and gas supply as well as securities in the area where it plans to take law and order measures, it also demands immediate water, food and medical rescue to the residents of Lyari confined due to curfew in the area.

Courtesy: News adopted from Facebook

Punjab/Pakistan denies Sindh’s share of water

Pakistan/Punjab: Water is life! But, life in Pakistans Sindh province has become extremely difficult due to unavailability of sufficient water. The problem has been created by Punjab, which is getting the lions share of Indus waters while denying Sindh’s rightful share. Sindh and other constituent units  in Pakistan are battling serious water shortage, even as Punjab is going ahead with Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canal projects. It is estimated that by June Sindh will face water shortage to the tune of 54 per cent as compared to 14 per cent by Punjab. A recent move by Punjab government to control water flows and forcible opening of flood canals has triggered widespread protests in Sindh and even Balochistan.

Courtesy: South Asia News » YouTube

SINDH DELEGATION to attend Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille, France

World Sindhi Institute organizes SINDH DELEGATION to attend Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille France

Two of Sindh’s premier Water Experts on Rivers and Dams and renowned scholar activists Mr Naseer Memon and Mr Abrar Kazi to attend and speak at Forum Alternatif Mondiale de l’Eau “FAME” taking place in Marseille France on 16th March 2012

They will present the Case of Sindh and how the mega dams of Mangla, Tarbela and as well other structures on the Indus have devastated lowest riparian Sindh’s economy; In spite of this new dams are still being planned without Sindh’s permission.

http://www.fame2012.org/en/tag/marseille/

International Dalit Soliderity report 2011 – Plight of Dalit of Pakistan

The Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) has been instrumental in raising public awareness of caste discrimination in Pakistan in 2011 and creating a stir in the media. Media reports on caste discrimination have included issues such as bonded labour, untouchability, kidnapping and forced conversions of Dalits.

Media have also reported widely on discrimination in flood relief work in Pakistan following new monsoon rains, causing one of recent history’s worst disasters. Dalit communities were denied access to relief camps because of their caste and were forced to live under the open sky. The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardai, has spoken out against this discrimination against Dalits in the on-going flood relief work saying that any discrimination in extending rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations to anyone on the basis of caste is unacceptable. Nonetheless the discrimination continued throughout 2011. PDSN has worked to support Dalit victims of the flooding and bring their plight to the attention of authorities, International NGOs and agencies involved in relief operations.

2011 also saw an increased visibility of Dalit women in Pakistan and Ms. Kalavanti Raja joined PDSN as Coordinator of the women’s wing of the network. Ms. Raja participated in several events, including the Dalit Women’s conference in Kathmandu, a South Asian Dalit conference in Bangladesh, and the IDSN International Consultation on Caste-Based Discrimination and council meeting in Nepal, where PDSN Coordinators also took part. She spoke at several events and monitored Pakistani media attention to the issue of caste discrimination, with regular updates to IDSN on the situation.

Jinnah Institute, a think tank working on minority issues, released a report in 2011 highlighting caste discrimination in Pakistan. According to the report the vast majority of Dalits in Pakistan do not own lands and work on daily wages, a consequence of them not having any permanent settlement. The report said, “One day, they are with one landlord, the next day with another. And this is how they spend a life of debt, with no accountability or education.” Their castes have translated into daily life. For instance, Dalits may be restricted to separate water wells in school, “from which also Muslims will not drink.” Dalits working in bonded labour continues to be a central issue in Pakistan. They are often forced to work under terrible conditions in what has been deemed ‘modern slavery’ with no view to ever repaying their debts. This form of slavery is particularly prevalent in the agricultural sector, construction work, mining and textile industries.

Continue reading International Dalit Soliderity report 2011 – Plight of Dalit of Pakistan

Sindh Agriculturalists and US Aid-supported highly efficient Tube-Well

USAID/Pakistan Highlights U.S. Commitment to Helping Mitigate the Pakistan Energy Crisis through Tube Well Efficiency Improvement Program (TWEIP) in Pakistan

USAID is working with Pakistani farmers to reduce peak electricity demand through a USAID program that helps farmers replace irrigation tube well pump sets with new energy efficient pump and motor sets

via » Sindhi Excellence Team, Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, November 1, 2011.

Saving the Mohenjodaro Ruins from Ruination

– The preservation of Moenjodaro was discussed at a conference held in Karachi on Saturday in which archaeological experts, top Sindh government officials and Unesco representatives participated. While the provincial government allocated Rs100m to help conserve the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilisation and World Heritage site, experts in their desperation suggested burial of the ruins until such time that technology became available to control the rising water table and salt levels in the soil that threaten the prehistoric site. International experts have reportedly been struggling for years to conserve Moenjodaro, in the process experimenting with various techniques that just do not seem to give the desired results. This is extremely worrisome. ….

Read more : DAWN EDITORIAL » Aboard the Democracy Train

Sluggish Response to Sindh Flood Victims – Oxfam Warns of Second Disaster

– Sluggish donor response to Pakistan floods is another disaster in the making: Oxfam

Islamabad – International aid agency Oxfam expressed alarm over the floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, as only $1.30 has been committed per person by international donors in the first 10 days of the UN appeal as opposed to $3.20 committed in the same period during last year’s floods.

Oxfam calls on the Government of Pakistan and the international donor community to dig deep into their resources and rapidly increase their funding to prevent the disaster from deteriorating further. The agency warns that the situation of millions of people in Sindh and Balochistan will worsen unless more aid arrives.

According to the latest figures, more than 8.8 million people in Sindh and 14,000 people in Balochistan so far have been affected by the 2011 monsoon rains. The human impact of this disaster in terms of the number of people affected is more than the combined impact of the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan earthquake of 2005. Reported losses are being estimated at $215 million, and that number is likely to increase as some areas are inaccessible, and the impact of the floods cannot be assessed. ….

Read more → Aboard the Democracy Train

BBC – Pakistan is ‘failing’ the flood victims of Sindh

– Is Pakistan ‘failing’ the people hit by the floods?

By Aleem Maqbool

Pakistan’s most needy are being left to fend for themselves after flooding devastated much of southern Sindh province.

It is astonishing and depressing that this is all happening again. Only this time, for the people of southern Pakistan, things appear even worse.

In travelling the vast flood-hit areas as we have been doing, what is striking this year, as compared to last, is the massive number of people who tell us they have had no help at all – not from aid agencies, not from the army and not from the government of Pakistan. ….

Read more → BBC

Family marooned in floodwater for eight days evacuated

– by Jan Khaskheli

Shahnaz, a lady health visitor (LHV) in her 40s, was looking upset while being brought out with an eight-member family from her inundated house by a boat. She stayed marooned for eight days inside the flooded house in the affected Sanghar city, which was hit by floods after breaches in artificial drains.

Known among the neighbouring people as Dr Shahnaz, she was running her flourishing maternity home in the city’s neighbourhood. When the floodwater was flowing to the city – comprising a population of 150,000 – she was advised by relatives and family friends to leave her house but she took the floods easy and refused to leave.

The house is located in a low-lying neighbourhood, from where almost all other families had shifted to safer areas. Some of them hired vehicles to reach their relatives living in Karachi and other parts of the country. There was seven feet deep water in the low-lying parts of the city. Many houses collapsed completely. Items were flowing in the streaming water. When she was brought out with her family she was still looking in an unending shock. ….

Read more → The News

Do not invite nature’s wrath

– By Dr. Manzur Ejaz, DAWN.COM

To describe the irreversibility of events and the determination of socio-historic forces, Waris Shah’s favorite expression was “Vagan paiy dariya na kadi murrde” (The rivers bent on flowing cannot be stopped).

For the last few years Pakistan’s rivers are honouring Waris Shah’s depiction when, in monsoon season, they reclaim the paths that have been usurped by human intruders by way of a quickly multiplying population, anarchy, and lack of governance. The rivers are giving an early warning to every Pakistani that if you mutilate nature, then it will take a very cruel revenge one day. And nature’s revenge is so tough that if the earthquake in the Washington DC area last month had lasted 20 more seconds, very few people would have been left to tell the story.

It cannot be determined if Pakistan and many other such countries have ever been more brutal to nature or with their fellow human beings. In both cases the end result is widespread destruction: probably more people perish and suffer because of floods and their intervention in nature than by jihadi terrorists and sectarian/mafia gangs. It seems like there is a correlation between these both types of brutalities: both are product of irrational approach to earth and the beings that occupy it.

Unlike scientific debates about human- induced global warming, Pakistan’s case is very simple and self evident. An unplanned population has encroached every inch of space that has become the cause of incessant devastations. Since the hapless crowds encroached on reserved lands, drainage and river beds, the monsoon water has no other way but to destroy what comes in its way. Untill the 70s every village, town, city or desert area had natural passages in case of heavy rain and floods. Now, there is hardly any village or town that has not blocked the flow of rain water: raised paved roads everywhere has created a situation in which heavy rains turn the whole village or town into a dirty water pond that can only breed diseases.

People have encroached river beds, and not only cultivate there, but have made brick houses as well. Given the Indus Water Basin Treaty in Pakistan’s rivers like Ravi and Sutlej, there is hardly any water during the winter but that does not mean that they will be dry in monsoons as well. If India does not utilise most of monsoon water to fill its dams built on Ravi and Sutlej, most of central and western Punjab will be drowned by floods. India has no choice but to release water after its dams are filled. And, taking the worst scenario of evil Indian intentions that Pakistanis assume anyway, if instead of filling its dams it lets the excessive water flow, areas around Ravi and Sutlej will see a great human tragedy because of hurdles created in the river beds.

Of course the monsoon and floods are seasonal hazards, but during the rest of the year the situation is very grave though not dramatic to capture the attention of media or the governments. How can the localities handle heavy rains and floods when they cannot handle the sewerage water? Sewerage disposal is handled so badly that it keeps on spreading diseases and killing hundreds of thousands of people every year, specifically in the rural areas. Either it creates ponds of dirty water in the streets or it is disposed off in the irrigation channels. For example, the Lower Bari Doab canal water that reaches the fields in Sahiwal or beyond is heavily polluted with sewerage water: right from its beginning (or even before from Ravi river) every city, town and village drops sewerage in the irrigation distributaries and watercourses. By the time it reaches the crops it has more than half of filth resulting in disease enhancing crops consumed by humans. In addition, such polluted water seeps down to underground water making it extremely harmful for human consumption. No wonder, water borne diseases are so common in Pakistan.

Somehow poor Pakistanis will get through this devastating period of heavy rains and floods, but a lesson has to be learnt: every locality should have a permanent arrangement of drainage of sewerage and excessive water. There are many countries where it rains all year long but they have made befitting arrangements and months of rain do not disrupt normal life.

In Pakistan, instead of making better arrangements for excessive water discharge, human encroachments have blocked the old drainage systems. Pakistan‘s government, at all levels, should take sewerage disposal and water drainage its top development priority. Every locality, small villages or big cities, should be mandated to have drainage systems ready before next monsoon. The developers and constructors, whether building residential dwellings or making metal roads should have a legal binding and liability to first make safe drainage system before they do anything else. Communities should be made liable through legislation, if there is none already, to take collective responsibility for making arrangements of disposing of sewerage and rain water. A compulsory drainage disposal fee should be charged as part of land revenue or property taxes.

One does not have to be a lawyer or a judge to figure out that harming others, as individuals or communities, is violation of human rights and safety. Polluting streets and waterways with sewerage does just that: harm others. Therefore, if the government(s) does not take necessary action then the highest courts should take a suo-moto action to protect the whole Pakistani society. Furthermore, if suicide is a liable act then proliferating sewerage fits this category of crime too. If no one does anything then nature will punish in a way it is doing at the present time.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

VIA → WICHAAR.COM

Sindh in malnutrition hotspots, says report

– ISLAMABAD – The National Nutrition Survey (NNS 2011), which was launched on Saturday, showed that Sindh had one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the country.

In Sindh 17.5 per cent of children under five years suffer from acute malnutrition, nearly seven per cent being severely malnourished. These results are way above WHO’s emergency threshold of 15 per cent, which indicates a critical nutrition situation. In addition, half of all children are stunted, a sign of long-term malnutrition.

The NNS 2011 also reports Sindh as the province with the highest proportion of food insecure people. Nearly 72 per cent of the population is food insecure and do not have access to enough food.

The situation can only be expected to get worse with the onset of current floods and the resulting loss of property, food stocks and the damage to standing crops. Last year’s post-flood nutrition survey had reported acute malnutrition rates as high as 23.1 per cent in the affected areas of Sindh. ….

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started distribution of food in the flood-affected areas of lower Sindh and is scaling up its efforts rapidly. “The WFP is taking practical steps to stabilise and improve the nutritional levels of the affected population. …

Read more → The Nation
http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/18-Sep-2011/Sindh-in-malnutrition-hotspots-says-report

Sindh – American Flood Assistance Already at Work

More than 50,000 families reached in Sindh

Islamabad, September 13, 2011 (press release)– In response to the Government of Pakistan’s disaster declaration on September 9, the United States has immediately begun providing a broad range of assistance to Sindh communities affected by this year’s floods, including food supplies for more than 50,000 families, and safe drinking water, shelter, sanitation and hygiene supplies, and basic health care for thousands more.

“Assistance provided by the United States will help thousands of flood-affected families attend to their immediate needs over the next few weeks,” said Andrew Sisson, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission.

This support is part of the broader U.S. Government commitment to assisting the people of Pakistan by supporting long-term development in times of immediate crisis. It will be delivered by local and international organizations specializing in relief work.

Already, USAID-funded food packages have reached 23,000 families in seven districts of Sindh (Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tando Muhammed Khan, Tando Allah Yar, Tharparker, Umarkot, and Hyderabad). This assistance was delivered by the International Organization for Migration. USAID also paid for nearly 60 trucks to deliver relief to affected areas and 1,000 plastic tarpaulins for shelter, and is financing other efforts to coordinate relief activities.

In the coming days, U.S.-funded relief supplies, including shelter materials, drinking water, sanitation and hygiene provisions will be provided through the Rural Support Programs Network, a Pakistani non-governmental organization. The United States is also contributing funding for 26,000 food packages to be distributed by the World Food Program.

The U.S. has also provided funding to the Agha Khan University’s mobile health unit, which is providing health care to affected communities in to Badin District. Additional U.S.-sponsored medical teams will begin working in other heavily flooded areas within the next several days. These health services are crucial in preventing and treating diarrhea, malaria, and other diseases that typically follow floods.

Courtesy- Information Office, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan

http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/

Via → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 13, 2011.

LEFT BANK OUTFALL DRAIN CARRYING TOXIC EFFLUENCE FROM PUNJAB TO SINDH – a massive wave of 20,000 cusecs of drain water is approaching

Evacuation ordered as new breaches in dykes add to woes

By Hashim Bhurgari, Qamaruddin and Iqbal Khwaja

SINDH – BADIN / MIRPURKHAS / THATTA: The Badin administration issued a warning to people of 12 union councils to vacate their homes and water gushing from breaches in canals and drains entered Mirpurkhas town and several villages in Thatta on Sunday as there appeared no end in sight to devastation caused by heaviest ever rainfall in the province’s history.

In Badin, unhindered upstream water flow continued to increase pressure on the embankments of the overtopping Left Bank Outfall Drain, forcing the administration to issue a warning to the people of 12 union councils, including Shadi Large, Khoski, Pangrio and Malkani Sharif towns, for evacuation. The warning was given after Saturday midnight through loudspeakers.

Thousands of marooned families along the LBOD and Doro Puran faced an acute shortage of food, drinking water and medicines.

According to unofficial reports, more than 30 people have died in the area, because of outbreak of gastroenteritis and other diseases.

A large number of villagers erected tents along roads and on dunes and many others are living in open areas. …

Read more → DAWN.COM

Anti-American Coup in Pakistan?

By Stanley Kurtz

The Washington Post and New York Times today feature above-the-fold front-page articles about the deteriorating situation in Pakistan. Both pieces are disturbing, the Times account more so because it explicitly raises the prospect of an anti-American “colonels coup” against Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. With all the bad news coming out of this part of the world, and plenty of trouble here at home, it’s easy to ignore stories like this. Yet these two reports are among the most alarming and important we’ve seen in a long string of bad news from Pakistan and the Middle East.

Both articles make plain the extraordinary depth and breadth of anti-American sentiment among the commanders and the rank-and-file of Pakistan’s army. While America’s insistence on keeping the bin Laden raid secret, as well as our ability to pull it off without Pakistani interference, are the immediate causes of the anger, it’s obvious that a deeper anti-American sentiment as well as some level of sympathy for al-Qaeda are also at work.

Even now Pakistan’s army is forcing American operations out of the country. They have blocked the supply of food and water to our drone base, and are actively “strangling the alliance” by making things difficult for Americans in-country.

Unfortunately, it’s now time to at least begin thinking about what the United States should do in case of either an overt anti-American coup within Pakistan’s army, or in case Kayani himself is forced to effectively break relations. Although liberation from Pakistan’s double-game and reversion to honest hostility might come as a welcome relief to some, I see no good scenario here.

Should anti-American elements in Pakistan’s army displace Kayani, they would presumably hold our supply lines to Afghanistan hostage to a cessation of drone attacks. The step beyond that would be to cut off our Afghanistan supply lines altogether. Our minimum response to either of these moves would likely be a suspension of aid (on which Pakistan’s military is now dependent) and moves to provide India with technology that would give them major advantages over Pakistan. Pakistan may run eagerly into the arms of China at that point.

These developments would pose many further dangers and questions. Could we find new supply lines, and at what geo-strategic price? Should we strike terrorist refuges in Pakistan, perhaps clashing with Pakistan’s own forces as we do so? Would Pakistan actively join the Taliban to fight us in Afghanistan? In short, would the outcome of a break between America and Pakistan be war–whether low-level or outright?

There is no good or easy answer here. If there is any single spot it would be hardest for America to walk away from conflict, Pakistan is it. Bin Laden was not alone. Pakistan shelters our greatest terrorist enemies. An inability to strike them there would be intolerable, both in terms of the danger posed for terrorism here in the United States, and for the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.

Yet the fundamental problem remains Pakistan’s nuclear capacity, as well as the sympathy of many of its people with our enemies. Successful clashes with Pakistan’s military may only prompt sympathizers to hand nuclear material to al-Qaeda. The army is virtually the only thing holding Pakistan together. A military defeat and splintering of the army could bring an Islamist coup, or at least the fragmentation of the country, and consequent massive expansion of its lawless regions. These gloomy prospects probably explain why our defense officials keep counseling patience, even as the insults from Pakistan grow.

An important question here is just how Islamist the anti-American elements of Pakistan’s military now are. Is the current trouble primarily a matter of nationalist resentment at America’s killing of bin Laden, or is this a case of outright sympathy for al-Qaeda and the Taliban in much of the army?

The answer is probably a bit of both. The difficulty is that the precise balance may not matter that much. We’ve seen in Egypt that a secular the military is perfectly capable of striking up a cautious alliance with newly empowered Islamist forces. The same thing could happen in Pakistan in the advent of an anti-American military coup. Pakistan may not be ethnically Arab, but it’s continued deterioration may be the unhappy harbinger of the so-called Arab Spring’s outcome, I fear.

At any rate, it’s time to begin at least gaming out worst-case scenarios in Pakistan.

Courtesy:  National Review Online

Via Wichaar

Pakistan ‘blocking supplies to US base’

Pakistan is blocking food and water from reaching a remote base used by the US for its secret drones programme, severely hampering counter terrorism strategy, according to a senior American official.

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad

Both sides are now briefing against the other as hostility between the two countries grows more intense – and more open – day by day.

Pakistan’s military has not recovered from the humiliation of failing to detect an American raid last month that killed Osama bin Laden and has reduced or halted co-operation with the US in protest.

A senior American official told The New York Times that supplies had been choked off to the airbase and that they were gradually “strangling the alliance” by making things difficult for the Americans in Pakistan. …

Read more: Telegraph.co.uk