Gilgit, February 24: NDMA deserves accolades for arranging helicopter service for the stranded people of Gojal valley during their hours of need. However, one is shocked to see the contrast between official reports and realities regarding the amount of relief goods provided to upper Hunza (Gojal) valley. According to an official report present at NDMA’s website, so far 107.5 tonnes of flour, 1900 tonnes of rice and over 41, 000 liters of diesel have been provided to the stranded people of Gojal valley. One wonders about the need for importing rice from China if such amount has already been supplied to the valley!
A pertinent question that may be asked from the government and NDMA authorities would be regarding the whereabouts of the “sustenance” transported to Gojal valley through boats and helicopters? One gets the feeling that all figures quoted in the official report are highly exaggerated.
At one moment during the early days of the Attabad disaster a very high official of the GBDMA told journalists that the government had stored over 1,000 sacks of wheat in a government depot at Chipursan. Interesting enough, there was no government depot present at Chipursan at that time!
Another interesting aspect of the ‘credit taking frenzy’ that NDMA seems to have dazzled itself into, a newsletter claims that NDMA, on advise of Geological Survey of Pakistan, evacuated 103 families from Attabad during September/October 2009. Fact of the matter is that 27 families were evacuated by an NGO from Attabad during March 2009. Nobody was living in Attabad in September/October 2009, as confirmed by the GSP survey observations and recommendations.
While NDMA deserves credit and praise for assistance it has provided, there seems to be no logical reason for getting on the credit – taking bandwagon. Public circles fear that such tactics do not augur well for credibility of a disaster management organization.