Recent figures from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) indicate 346 deaths with over 1.7 million people affected. News sources share that the floods in Pakistan have affected 2.35 million acres of land. In Punjab, 617,774 people evacuated and in Sindh, 48,592 people evacuated from Sukkur and Larkana. The loss to public sector infrastructure is estimated to be over 10 billion rupees (USD 102,040,818 as per initial estimates. Punjab, commonly known as the bread basket of Pakistan, has witnessed severe damage to crops including rice, maize, sugar-cane, and cereal. Crops and livestock worth billions of rupees have also been destroyed. For poor families whose livelihood and food supply depend on seasonal crops, the loss is devastating and threatens food security, nutrition, economic stability, and access to other basic needs such as education and healthcare. Likewise, it highlights the possibility of food shortages and lower export trade for the economy. In Pakistan, millions of people either rent or sharecrop land from landowners. The increasing frequency of disasters makes it more difficult for farming families to escape poverty and the cycle of debt. Land on rent or the provisions of agricultural inputs from landowners are stilled owed even in the case of disaster, which exacerbates the challenges poor families already face.
The NDMA has also initiated work on the assessment of losses in flood-affected areas in collaboration with the United Nations. Assessment will be conducted in Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Chiniot, Jhang, and Multan to identify damages to infrastructure and rehabilitation of affected people.
According to the Inter Services Public Relations, 29 relief collection points have been set up by the army in major cities, including three in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Additionally, consignments of five trucks containing 40 tons of relief goods were dispatched to flood-affected people on Sunday.
However, news sources from Gujranwala and Sheikhupura revealed that hundreds of flood-affected communities from various villages protested against non-payment of compensation and non-provision of relief goods and medicines on Sunday.
Currently, flood affected families throughout the country remain in much distress. Owing to the enormity of the situation, assistance to the affected communities must be adequate and timely. Communities still lack relief, food, and essential items to cope with the rains, floods, and landslides that have caused massive destruction.
While relief and rehabilitation efforts must be quick, the steps to ensure that communities are protected each year from harsh monsoon rains, floods, and other associated calamities must be worked upon. The strategies to develop effective disaster risk reduction plans including the constriction of safe shelters for people and livestock at risk are among the arrangements that can curb yearly losses. At the same time, this requires investments that will also teach communities at risk to cope with frequently occurring natural disasters.
CWS-P/A will begin distribution this week to assist 249 flood affected families in the districts of Bagh and Haveli, made possible through the generous support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
In Bagh District, the distribution of food and NFIs to 175 families (1,295 individual) was completed. 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 members to 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.
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.
Mobilization efforts have engaged village organizations (VOs) in Thatta District and Sujawal District. The VOs have pre-positioned their teams to actively respond in case of possible floods with evacuation and safety measures. They have gathered their necessary documents, emergency kits, and other resources provided through CWS-P/A’s project. Safety messages have also been disseminated along with emergency contact numbers to community members.
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.
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.