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Thursday, May 19, 2022
EditorialFrom the ashes of Dadu village

From the ashes of Dadu village

Now, when the devastating fire at Faiz Mohammad Daryani Chandio village has been put out and the nine charred bodies have been buried, the government of Sindh must take a moment to reflect on its performance and its criminal role in the death of the innocent people.

The grieving families of the deceased demand a thorough probe into the calamity which burnt to death nine children. On Tuesday, the fire broke out in the mud-thatched houses of three brothers in the village of Dadu district, the hometown of the Sindh Chief Minister, giving no chance to the onlookers to rescue the children inside the houses. The calamity left nine children dead, 20 people injured, and 200 animals and 70 mud-thatched houses burnt to ashes. The most painful part of the tragedy was the lukewarm response of the government authorities. When the tragedy broke a hellfire on social media, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah woke up to action and visited the fire-hit village on Wednesday. He uttered the empathetic condolence words to show his concerns about the tragedy, and announced a usual probe committee and Rs500,000 compensation each for heirs of the fire victims and Rs200,000 each for the injured. These measures are not enough, dear chief minister.

What the government needs to learn from the fire incident is the inefficient firefighting system in place in the district. As the preliminary probe report by the Dadu deputy commissioner states the fire had a free hand as the fire brigade of Mehar taluka was dysfunctional at the time of the fire. This is criminal. Similarly, the reinforcement called by the Dadu district administration from the nearby Larkana district was of no help, as their firefighting system was not fully operational. The toll of the blaze is nine dead, 20 injured, 55 mud-thatched houses burnt to ashes, and 110 families made homeless.

The fire reminds one of a similar tragedy in Jalib Rind village where 50 houses and cattle were destroyed. The Sindh government should install an efficient firefighting system at the district, if not tehsil, level. In this regard, the Sindh government can learn lessons from Punjab’s Rescue 1122 system, which has an exemplary system in place. Because of its rapid response system, several fire incidents have been controlled well in time, limiting the level of damage. Given the track record of the Sindh government, it is highly unlikely that any positive change would be brought about.

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