Floodwater receded approximately six months ago in most areas of Pakistan, but the debris, homelessness, and jobless conditions persist. For many survivors from the northern areas, the winter has nearly passed without proper shelter, warm clothes, or heating facilities. Millions of people received some form of assistance since the onset of floods, but there are still areas where no assistance reached. Despite compassion and support from the international community, there were not sufficient resources mobilized quickly enough to reach all affected communities. As families struggle to find the means to rebuild their lives, life continues one day at a time. For some, it is a struggle to clear agricultural land. For others, access to food and proper shelter remains an unknown possibility. Illness, without access or resources to access health facilities, plagues thousands of individuals.
This miracle, however, is becoming a reality for some families. Humanitarians, even recently, continued to provide emergency relief in terms of shelter, food, drinking water, and health services. At the same time, concerted efforts to work with communities to rebuild infrastructure, restore agricultural lands, and create income earning opportunities are underway.
The road ahead is not easy for the affected communities. For many, it is not about recovering from a flood that happened seven months ago. It is about recovering from a series of unimaginable setbacks on a long road to recovery…floods, droughts, earthquakes, and conflict.
The resilience of the Pakistani people should be acknowledged; however, the reality of the current situation should not be denied. With dignity and commitment, humanitarian agencies should work together for sustainable recovery and solutions to recurring problems. Attention must be placed on accountability, quality, and disaster preparedness. This is not the last flood or natural disaster that will affect this country, but ways exist to minimize the number of affected people and the severity of destruction from future disasters.