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HomeNationalSindh needs Rs860bn for flood rehabilitation, Murad tells donors

Sindh needs Rs860bn for flood rehabilitation, Murad tells donors

Says funds needed to reconstruct collapsed houses, repair roads and revive agriculture                                  

In his meeting with representatives of donor agencies and diplomats of different countries at VIP Lounge of Begum Nusrat Bhutto Airport, Sukkur, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah disclosed that his province was in a dire need of Rs860 billion to reconstruct the collapsed houses, repair roads and revive agriculture, otherwise, things would not move forward.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Khursheed Shah, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Major General Ahsan Shakeek of NDMA and others. The diplomats and donor agencies’ representatives who attended the meeting included Deputy High Commissioner Australia Joanne Frederiksen, EU Deputy Head of Mission Thomas Seller, Deputy Head of Mission Denmark Simon Kjeldsen, Charge d’affairs of Norway Dr Mah Noor, Italian-AICS Italy Pietro Del Sette, Director Italian Agency for Development Emanuela Benin, Deputy Director General IM UN, Focal Person on Flood Relief Assistance USAID Xerses Sidhwa, Disaster Management Specialist USAID Ali Gohar Khan, Deputy Operations Managers World Bank Gailius Draugelis, Development Director FCDO UK Sandra Baldwin, Asian Bank’s Dinesh R Shiwakoti.

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The chief minister and chief secretary gave a detailed briefing to the visiting diplomats and donor agencies’ representatives and said that unprecedented monsoon rains in July were 308 percent above the average and 784 percent above the normal rain in August. Shah said that this year’s floods are bigger and more catastrophic than the floods of 2010 and 2011 and this crisis has compounded with a high flood in Indus at Guddu and Sukkur, which has inundated the entire katcha area.

Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput told the meeting that 24 districts with 102 talukas and 5,727 dehs have been declared calamity-hit. The chief minister said that ex-gratia assistance for remaining cases on account of deaths, grant of compensation on account of injuries, houses damaged and livestock, grant of compensation for crop damage, waiver of interest on agricultural loan and rescheduling of instalment payment by deferring it for at least one year, grant of subsidy on agriculture machinery, fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds to farmers of the affected areas was required immediately.

Murad Shah said that one million tents, three million mosquito nets, two million ration bags for two months, one million jerry cane and one million kitchen sets, 500,000 plastic mats and 500,000 woollen mattress and one tarpaulin were required for relief requirements. Talking about the loss of lives, Shah said that 405 died and 1,074 injured, 105 million damaged houses costing Rs450 million at a rate of Rs300,000 per house, 11,734 cattle lost for costing Rs903.96 million and 3,171,726 acres of crops damaged costing Rs335.44 billion.

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The CM said that almost all the cash crops such as cotton, dates, sugarcane, rice, kharif vegetables, tomato, chilies, onions and others have been damaged. Another similar meeting was held under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari which was attended by more diplomats and donor agencies’ heads and representatives. After the meeting, all the guests took an aerial view of the inundation of cities, towns, crops and canals.

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