Situation Update: Punjab Assesses Damages as Sindh Braces for More Floods

Situation Update: Punjab Assesses Damages as Sindh Braces for More Floods

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Background:

The heavy rains and flooding which overwhelmed villages in Punjab and Sindh since last weekend left a trail of destroyed houses, agricultural land, and other infrastructure. Deaths from this monsoon season reached 118, according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The total affected population increased five times compared to figures reported on Friday, August 16 and is now 544,439.

Thousands of families are without proper shelter. Approximately 28,000 houses were damaged, almost half of which were completely destroyed. The government established relief camps and distributed tents and food; however, only 9,215 people are currently residing in the camps. The coping mechanisms of these communities are to move to relatives’ houses or to seek refuge on elevated ground, with or without makeshift shelters and tents.

Central and southern Punjab faced the brunt of this monsoon spell. Over five hundred villages were inundated in Multan, Jhang, and Kamoke. According to media, the police assisted 4,501 people in Rahim Yar Khan District and their 2,943 cattle to relief camps.

As isolated heavy rains continue across the country, Sindh braces for more flooding. As the higher level of water in northern areas travels through the river system toward the basin meeting the Arabian Sea, the combination with another heavy rain weather system could be devastating.

Many communities continue the struggle to recover from the massive 2010 floods which were followed by significant flooding in 2011 and 2012. The annual destruction of crops significantly impacts the livelihoods and economy for the predominately agriculture-dependent communities. Thus, the ability of these particularly vulnerable communities to withstand the seasonal monsoon rains and floods is fragile. Although efforts by the authorities, humaitarian organizations, and the communities themselves have been made to reduce risks and better prepare for the yearly monsoons, enough has not been done. Most communities lack the necessary infrastructure and preparations that are required to cope with more frequent heavy monsoons. Therefore, another heavy rains spell is likely to result in the complete devastation of some villages, particularly in Sindh, leaving more families without shelter, food, non-food items, and access to health care and medicines.

CWS-P/A Response:

CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation and the emergency response team is prepared in case further needs arise.

CWS-P/A is in the process of providing one-month food packages to 5,850 individuals (900 families) in Thatta, Sindh. The distribution to 395 families, which is possible with support from DanChurchAid, was completed on August 16. Christian Aid and UMCOR are supporting one-month food packages to 360 and 145 families, respectively. The distribution to 145 families will take place in the coming days.