BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Monday, 8 May, 2000, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Balochistan drought at 'crisis point'
Woman in southern Pakistan
An elderly woman is tended to by relatives
By Haroon Rashid in Quetta

The authorities in the Pakistani province of Balochistan say most of the province's 26 districts are suffering severe famine as a result of drought.

There is concern that relief efforts are still failing to reach many people trapped in inaccessible areas.

Balochistan's governor, Amirul Mulk Mengal, said the famine situation in 22 provincial districts had reached crisis point.


A drought-stricken couple await transport

Mr Mengal said concern was growing for the lives of some 20,000 families and more than a million cattle trapped in inaccessible areas.

However, he insisted that relief operations were being stepped up, and all efforts were being made to bring an end to the crisis.

Balochistan's government is coming under increasing criticism for not doing enough to bring the drought and famine situation under control.

Appeal

Responding to journalists, Mr Mengal admitted on Monday that the drought situation had first came to light in January this year, but he insisted the government had done its utmost to avert the crisis.

Mr Mengal appealed to the press to refrain from what he described as a politicisation of the crisis, and not to create panic among the public.

The government has set up 35 relief centres in the hardest hit areas to provide relief.

Meanwhile, large numbers of people affected by the drought in the districts of Chagai and Kharan are continuing to migrate towards areas with food and water.

For the moment, though, it seems the government has no intention of appealing for international aid and will continue to pool its own resources for the relief operations.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
South Asia Contents

Country profiles
See also:

02 Dec 99 | South Asia
Pakistan's parched province
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories