Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Using rainwater to develop agriculture

THE ongoing rains and floods have played havoc with all four provinces, as well as with Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Hundreds of people have died as a result of landsliding and electrocution in different parts of the country.

The half of the Dera Ghazi Khan city has been reportedly inundated because of rains. The government has declared it a calamity-hit area. Soldiers have been deployed in Sindh to take part in relief and rehabilitation work.

According to media reports, the floodwater has closed Punjab-Balochistan highway. The communication network of Balochistan with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also been suspended. Apart from Multan, Sukkur, Kashmir, Naseerabad, Jhal Magsi, Dera Bugti, Bolan, Sibi, Dera Allah Yar and other towns and cities have been affected by rains.

The standing crops of maize and tobacco have been devastated and washed away by floods/ torrential rains. Many people are now homeless and have moved to safer places. The meteorological department has forecast more rains which can cause more problems.

The Monsoon season is most notable in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Likewise, torrential monsoon rains and floods
cause devastation in other countries also. The governments of these countries consider themselves responsible and manage such disasters through a proactive approach.

But the situation in Pakistan is different. The government and the authorities concerned do not bother about taking preemptive measures to overcome the situation. As a result, many human lives are lost. The economy, including agriculture, suffers greatly, despite forecast by the meteorological department.

Thus rains have become a disaster rather than a blessing, especially the poor are largely affected.

To overcome the situation and rehabilitate and compensate the hapless and homeless, the government has no other option but to ask for foreign aid.

The fact is that had our policymakers taken timely and concrete measures to cope with the situation, the rainwater could have brought an economic revolution in our life. Beside generating electricity, we would have been able to utilise rainwater for developing our agriculture.

Otherwise our surplus and excessive water will continue to fall and waste in the sea. Every year we have to confront rains and floods, but policymakers are reluctant to take workable decisions to improve the situation.

Let us pledge to take urgent and concrete measures to curb this menace once and for all.


People’s misery
HEAVY rains that have inundated Sindh, Balochistan and parts of Southern Punjab portray a scene of misery for the people who have turned into refugees in their own country with meagre belongings.

Does it not bring tears to the broad smiling faces of our rulers who boast of serving the people as ‘khadims’. The hypocrisy is writ large on their faces when they fail to take any action to store rainwater upstream to the relief of the lower riparian.

China has built six storages on the Brahmaputra River passing through their territory to store floodwaters, while we have made only one storage on the Indus, which is not enough to control rainwater.

Lahore Cantt
Original Article Here

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