The advent of current monsoon season is accompanied by the first anniversary of most devastating floods in the history of Pakistan: Floods 2010. The gushing water was on account of severe rain spells over Pakistan which first hit Baluchistan in the third week of July 2010. These were followed by a second spell of heavy monsoon rains over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the last week of July 2010.
The Floods affected a total of 78 districts of Pakistan and 29 of them were declared as the worst affected; brought one fifth of Pakistan under water. A joint study of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank estimate that Pakistan suffered $10 billion of losses. The country’s colossal loss could be summarized in the following table:
Table:· Losses – Floods 2010
|Sr. #||Type of Loss/Damage||Numbers/Units|
|4||Area Affected||100,000 Square Kilometre|
|5||Cultivated Land||20,000 Square Kilometre|
Source Available at: National Disaster Management Authority Website
The ensuing narrative in the popular media made attempts to establish the dialectics of the resulted devastation. The depictions ranged from engineering failures to conspiracy theories, from ill planned developing ventures to change in land use, and from political manoeuvring in diversion of flood waters to lack of coordination amongst the relevant institutions of the country. The most powerful argument was put in by those who highlighted the long standing flaws in the planning infrastructure. This argument related to the fact that the river has been adversely walled in by the canal and dam network causing it to silt-up. The other equally influential argument as highlighted in the report by the judicial commission of the Supreme Court is about the failure on the part of provincial irrigation departments.
The Floods 2010, like all other disasters did three things and these could be summarized as a) It challenged the resilience of the social and physical infrastructure b) caused destruction of both physical and social capital c) provided opportunities to reconstruct and ‘build back better’ the lost capital stock.
Government of Pakistan, provincial and local governments – supported by national and international humanitarian organisations undertook a massive relief operation. A revised Flash Appeal of $1.96 billion was launched by the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) system that has been funded according to sources to the tune of around 66%. The Relief Phase ended on 31 January 2011. The NDMA in collaboration with the UN and other development agencies prepared a Strategic Early Recovery Action Plan. This covers eight key sectors (Agriculture and Food Security, Health and Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, Education, Housing, Governance, Non-Farm Livelihoods and Community Physical Infrastructure) and addresses four cross-cutting themes: protection, gender, the environment and disaster risk reduction. The Phase will last until the end of 2011.
A year later one million people in 31 affected districts still remain in need. Sources stated that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Sindh Province has left 6,000 people still unregistered in the Mauripur Flood Relief Camp. In Sindh, 40 percent of the major repair work has yet to be completed. Similarly 80 percent of the Flood Protection Works in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are still in need of construction. It has been argued, reportedly, that a number of the goals remain unfulfilled because of the lack of funds. According to Economic Affairs Division (EAD), the international community has disbursed only $661 million out of their total commitment of $ 3 billion (a mere 2.2 percent). On the contrary UNOCHA claims that of the total pledges of $2.6 billion, 85 percent ($2.2 billion) has been disbursed. The discrepancy in claim attributes to the fact that many international donors according to media sources required more transparency and accountability from relevant government departments due to which they prefer to give money to UN and its allied organizations. The EAD further claims that $571 million funding gap was pivotal in not meeting the targets in the early Recovery Phase. According to the collected information due to funding shortages the housing sector out of other 8 key sectors, suffered most. The other sectors also probably have met the same fate. Media sources further shared that the spending of the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund of Rs. 6.8 billion remains yet to be known.
There is a dire need to accomplish sector wise monetary gap analysis for the recovery phase and the findings be made available to all relevant stakeholders for fund raising. The spatial and sectoral gap analysis will enhance the efficacy of the Recovery Phase. Without the relevant information shots will be called in dark, and duplication will be the order of the day while those who have already suffered will suffer more.
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Graphical Display of CWS-P/A’s Flood Response