Karachi, September 20, 2022 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in his meeting with British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner, said that the reclamation of flooded lands of the province would need expert guidance and technical support from the British and Netherland so that they could be rejuvenated.
The meeting was held at CM House and was attended by Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Mooney, Director Development Sandra Baldwin, and Deputy Director Batool Zehra.
The chief minister was assisted by his special assistant Syed Qasim Naveed, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and Secretary to CM Raheem Shaikh. Mr Shah said that if the agricultural lands were underwater, therefore they would lose their fertility. “I want a study from the British and Netherlands experts to visit the. Lands, study them and guide us technically so that they can be reclaimed with more rejuvenation,” he said. At this, the British High Commissioner assured the chief minister that his government would support Sindh.
He added that he and chief secretary Sindh would coordinate for requesting Netherlands experts and work out an action plan. The CM said that the climate change and current heavy rains call for preparing a future plan to construct a proper drainage system for rain and hill torrents deluges.
“We are planning to restore original and natural waterways and escapes all over Sindh,” he said and added his government would also need expert and technical support from the British government and donor agencies.
At the outset of the meeting, the British High Commissioner offered his condolences over the loss of lives during the heavy rains. He said that the British government would support the Sindh government to rehabilitate the affected people. The chief minister briefed the visiting diplomat about the devastations of the heavy rains and hill torrents on both the embankments of the River Indus.
He said that the hill torrents of the Khirthar Range have no escape other than ending at Manchhar Lake. “The six feet high Flood Protective Bund failed to contain hill torrents and they caused multiple breaches into it, therefore various cities and towns inundated. Similarly, the LBOD and the spinal drains could not carry the quantum of rainfall smoothly into Shakoor Lake or the sea. “We will have to restore old water escapes/doras on the left bank also,” the CM said.
Mr. Shah told the British envoy that more than 1.5 million people have been displaced, therefore there is a dire need for tents to accommodate the homeless people. At this, the British high commissioner said that their government was sending the 50 containers loaded with non-food items such as tent-type shelters, plastic sheets, and other materials. The chief thanked the British government for its support. The meeting concluded on the note that they would again review the demand and supply of relief goods so that the gap could be covered with more material.
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