Situation Update: Hard times in Azad Kashmir, more deaths in Punjab, and...

Situation Update: Hard times in Azad Kashmir, more deaths in Punjab, and Sindh prepares for floods

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Background:

The death toll from floods in Pakistan now stands at 323 people according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Over 2,274,690 people have been affected throughout the country.  The floods continue to wreak havoc in Punjab Province where settlements around Chenab have been severely affected. Latest news reports that the death toll from Punjab is 246. Children aged between 7 and 10 years, drowned in Kaiyan Wala in Chiniot adding to the number of causalities.

In southern parts of Punjab including Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, and Rahim Yar Khan, water started to recede and residents have been reported to return back to their hometowns.

In Azad Jammu & Kashmir, 64 people have died and 46,496 people are affected by floods. The valley has witnessed disastrous floods with landslides in many districts.  With water from rivers gushing on to streets in Kashmir, much of the infrastructure including roads and buildings have been destroyed. Families state huge losses of farm lands and livestock. Affected communities live in tent settlements and remain vulnerable to health hazards.

Furthermore on Wednesday, the flood peak entered Sindh and caused a trail of large-scale devastation from Sialkot to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab. Loss of lives and damages to infrastructure worth billions of rupees were recorded. A medium-level flood of less than 400,000 cusecs of water is expected to pass through Sindh’s barrages in the next 24 hours. An estimated 350,000 cusecs of water passed through Guddu Barrage.

As floodwaters already inundated hundreds of acres of agricultural lands in the katcha parts in Sukkur, affected families along with their cattle were being shifted to relief camps set up at several hundred schools as well as tent villages established on strengthened dykes. The news source also stated that medical camps had been established at these relief camps and tent villages. In order to avoid loss of life, property, and assets, residents of the katcha areas of Sukkur, Gambat, Khairpur, Kingri, Baberloi, and other Talukas had been asked to vacate to safety.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the kutcha area population would be affected by flooding but suitable arrangements for the safety and security of people and their belongings had been made.

At present, affected communities across the country require timely assistance to ensure recovery to a state of normalcy.

Families in Azad Kashmir are faced with tough lives ahead of the winter months. With destroyed homes, no earning sources, damaged hospitals, children out of school, and dwindling food supplies, days turn challenging as slow relief reaches affected communities.

CWS-P/A Response:

At present, CWS-P/A’s disaster response team is on field in Haveli to complete assessments. A total of 175 families (1,295 individual) have received food and non-food items in Bagh District. All distributed items are based on Sphere standards and designed to meet the average-sized family’s (7-8 members) needs. This distribution is made possible through financial contributions from Christian Aid and Primate’s Word Relief and Development Fund, who have promptly and generously contributed toward the ACT Appeal launched on September 9.

The ACT Appeal which aims to assist 2,000 families with food for three months, 1,000 with non-food items, 400 shelter kits, and 3,000 families (22,200 individuals) with health assistance in three districts of Azad Kashmir requires immediate support to ensure timely assistance to affected families.

UMCOR has also generously granted funding for food and non-food items for 249 flood affected families.

An immediate week-long response by CWS-P/A’s health team which included a doctor, a lady health visitor, and a medical dispenser assisted affected community members in Bagh District, Azad Kashmir. A total of 793 people have received emergency medical consultations and free medicines. As many as 68 women received antenatal care (ANC), 15 received postnatal care (PNC), and 148 children under age five received assistance.

The health teams conducted six health education sessions attended by 94 community members on antenatal/postnatal care, cholera, gastroenteritis, typhoid, polio, hepatitis, and HIV&AIDS. Commonly treated illnesses included upper respiratory tract infections and diarrhea while chronic illnesses including diabetes and tuberculosis were also diagnosed.

 The MHU was strategically located near a camp settlement making access to health services easy for the individuals who have lost their homes and are living in the camp and for those in the surrounding area.

CWS-P/A’s team in Thatta District and Sujawal District continue efforts along with communities to minimize the impacts of possible floods. The mobile knowledge resource center (MKRC) is engaged in disseminating awareness to communities. Community members also received handouts of safety measures and emergency contact numbers of local authority and NGOs. CWS P/A project manager is in coordination with deputy commissioner (DC), assistant deputy commissioners (ADC), and assistant commissioner (AC) of each taluka to offer assistance where possible. Over the last two days, several meetings were conducted with government officials.  The second coordination meeting is being held today and attended by CWS-P/A staff. Through mobilization initiatives, village organizations (VOs) have been active in working with the irrigation department in indentifying vulnerable points where breaches are possible. The VOs have been involved in conducting evacuation drills and mobilizing their resources to strengthen their response mechanism among other initiatives.

Furthermore, quality and accountability will be enhanced through capacity building initiatives for aid workers and for affected communities in accessing accountable aid services. A complaints response mechanism is in place to encourage communities to launch complaints if necessary during interventions. CWS-P/A continues to monitor the situation in other parts of the country and subjected to the need, will expand its operations to other affected regions.

Source:

www.dawn.com

http://tribune.com.pk/

www.ndma.gov.pk/

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