The water level in the Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD), commonly known as Right Bank Outfall Drain-I, at RD-10 upstream Manchhar Lake, started to decrease on Thursday as officials confirmed the intensity of floodwater also subsided to some extent in Dadu district.
However, they would not take any chances and said they would maintain a strict vigil on the drain to stave off any emergency.
Floods from record monsoon rains and glacial melt in the mountainous north have affected 33 million people and killed 1,486 since June 14, washing away homes, roads, railways, livestock and crops, in damage estimated at $30 billion.
Both the government and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have blamed climate change for the extreme weather that led to the flooding, which submerged nearly a third of the country.
Sindh has been particularly hit hard, with the province’s Manchhar Lake — the largest freshwater lake in the country — witnessing a surge in its water level in recent days as floodwaters from the north and hill torrents from Balochistan flow southwards, leaving behind a trail of deaths and destruction.
Dadu Assistant Commissioner Shahnawaz Mirani told Dawn.com that at least one foot had decreased at different places of the MNV drain.
He said the water level in various villages in Dadu was also decreasing with each passing day for now.
Separately, Dadu Deputy Commissioner Syed Murtaza Ali Shah said the discharge of water from the MNV drain into the Manchhar Lake was continuing and expressed hopes the the water level would further decrease in the days to come.
The DC said the locals and the civil administration were constantly monitoring the MNV drain so as to deal with any emergency.
According to the official in charge of the irrigation cell for Manchhar Lake, Sher Mohammad Mallah, water was being released from the lake into River Indus through the LS Dam.
“The water level in Manchhar has decreased from 121.9 feet RL to 121.7 feet RL.”
An engineer of the provincial irrigation department, Mahesh Kumar, told Dawn.com the water pressure was also easing on the ring bund of Bhan Syedabad.
Situation in Mehar
Mehar Assistant Commissioner Mohsin Shaikh told Dawn.com that the water level at the ring bund of Mehar had decreased by a foot.
He said a similar decrease had also been witnessed in the surroundings of Khairpur Nathan Shah and Johi areas.
Sheikh, however, said the relief and rescue works were still under way in Dadu district.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had on Wednesday said that there was seven to eight million acre-feet of water from Kashmore and Jacobabad to Jamshoro.
“We have to release it to River Indus through Manchhar Lake,” he told a press conference in Karachi today. He added that the lake also had 1.3m acre-feet of water.
Meanwhile, the situation of the water flow at Guddu and Sukkur barrages in the Indus River is normal.
According to a Flood Forecasting Division report, the Inflow of water at the Guddu Barrage is 166,431 cusecs and the discharge is 153,656 cusecs.
Similarly, at Kotri Barrage, the inflow of water is 155,948 cusecs and the outflow is 153,810 cusecs.
The officials said a moderate flood situation at Kotri Barrage was still persisting.
This year’s devastating floods have paved the way for a health crisis, with several health facilities damaged and various diseases on the rise in flood-hit areas.
Dadu District Health Officer Dr Ahmed Ali Samejo told Dawn.com today that the health department had set up 20 medical camps in the districts and the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative 12.
He said 78,000 patients had been provided treatment at medical camps in the last 15 days, and army and Rangers personnel were also providing healthcare assistance at these camps.
Meanwhile in Jamshoro, District Health Officer Vinod Kumar said 9,666 patients were under treatment at government hospitals amid a cholera outbreak in the region.