At least 12 individuals have been killed and dozens of others have been affected by the sudden outbreak of Cholera in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti. Hundreds of other locals are at risk as severe water scarcity has gripped the city. Forced by the water shortage, the locals have resorted to drinking from marshes and ponds that serve as hothouses for various deadly pathogens.
The District Health Officer of Dera Bugti, Azam Bugti, told the media that at least four people, including a child, were killed by Cholera on Wednesday. In the mountainous area of Pir Koh, the deadly disease has claimed over a dozen lives and affected various others who are at severe risk.
The poorly equipped hospitals were crammed with patients afflicted with the disease and their attendants in the aftermath of the deadly outbreak of Cholera. The residents of the area complain that there are no health facilities in the city to deal with the endemic. They say that the provincial government has failed the locals despite the repeated announcements and promises.
Balochistan Chief Minister Quddus Bizenjo reportedly took notice of the outbreak of the disease and directed the health authorities to double down on their efforts to contain its spread and provide adequate health facilities to the people affected by the disease. An official handout from the provincial government on Wednesday said that the chief minister has announced an immediate release of RS10 million for the people of Dera Bugti to cope with the outbreak of the disease.
The dire situation in Dera Bugti has also prompted the World Health Organization to take notice of the issue. Officials of WHO has said that the organization has dispatched a team to investigate and assess the situation in Dera Bugti. The Cholera outbreak has affected an estimated 1500 people most of whom are either women or children. The spread of the disease is attributed to the lack of clean drinking water in the city.
Activists and Baloch nationalists on social media have also highlighted the issue and lamented that the federal and provincial government has failed the people of Dera Bugti. The social media users said that Dera Bugti houses one of the largest natural gas reserves in Asia. Since its discovery in 1952, the Sui Gas Plant has supplied natural gas to much of Pakistan, but the residents of Dera Bugti are forced to collect kindling and pieces of wood and used that as fuel. The nationalists say that the severe water shortage gripping the city and the resulting outbreak of Cholera has created an alarming situation.