24 September 2020
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A large number of people, who were affected the most by the floods in Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar, blocked the Mithi-Mirpurkhas road near Naukot while protesting against the cuts in the LBOD.

The LBOD is a 385km long ‘drain’ that was built in the late 1990s with the help of World Bank money to try to tackle water logging and salinity. It is an artificial waterway from Nawabshah down to the sea and is supposed to drain out or carry municipal waste, saline subsoil water, to put it crudely. And while it is difficult to go into the details here, it is important to mention that the LBOD has often been the subject of controversy and politics and has generally acquired a bit of a grim reputation.

The protesters, including Mumtaz Chandio, Mohammad Azim,
Imam Bux, Naseeruddin, said that they are getting tired of the frequent cuts
that lead to their houses being inundated. On Monday, another cut occurred which
caused them a lot of damage.

The fresh cuts in the weak and vulnerable drain forced the remaining people to leave their homes towards the sandy dunes of Thar. They made it clear that the area residents, who had already suffered huge losses after floods destroyed their crops and houses, only want authorities to divert the flow of water towards is natural depressions.

The protesters said that wide cuts developed during heavy downpours in the last 10 days of August had already caused the massive destruction in the areas forcing thousands of people to relocate to safer areas. The villagers continued their demonstration for over three hours.

Despite the repeated attempts, no official could be contacted for the official version on the recent cuts in the LBOD.

Abdul Gh Lone

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