April 15, 2016
Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights Justice has held the Sindh regional government accountable for the desperate situation unfolding in Thar, where a lack of food and water have led to the deaths of over 150 children in just a year. In its first report on the situation, the Commission urged the government to provide immediate resources, including dedicated medical staff, and has appealed to UNICEF for assistance.
The following is an article published by Pakistan Observer:
Islamabad—Chairperson National Commission for Human Rights Justice, Ali Nawaz Chohan, in a report, on Tuesday held government of Sindh and its departments of Health, Education and local administration accountable for Thar tragedy. Addressing a press conference he said, in Thar, the problems of food and water should be solved, adding, the water policy of Reserve Osmosis (RO) needed to be re-viewed besides the system of distribution of free wheat.
Presenting a report on the Thar calamity, he said the commission took suo moto notice of recurring deaths of children in Thar in December last and conducted a five-day visit from March 8 to 13. They commission, he added, asked the provincial government for appointment of dedicated medical staff, substitution of the present unconcerned District Health Officer and financial audit of funds allocated for education.
He informed that NCHR had also contacted United Nations Children Fund for urgent help of Thar population through provision of Mobile Medical Camps for immunization and meeting the nutrition problems so rampant in case of infants.
The commission further recommended immediate transfer of funds of local administration who are doing no service to the suffering people.
They also urged government and private organizations to work for welfare of Thar children under corporate social responsibility. The National Commission on Human Rights recommended action against National Disaster Management Authority by the federal government for its negligence over Thar drought that has caused deaths of countless children in the recent months.
It has also asked the Sindh government for similar action against Provincial Disaster Management Authority, and several other departments, including the provincial health, education and local government for failing to address the situation in the deserts of Sindh.
The actions have been recommended in NCHR’s first comprehensive report on the death of over 150 children in just over a year.
It has also blamed Pakistan Meteoroidal Department, that according to the NCHR, miserably failed in discharging its duties of assessing the drought situation in the province.