Sindh on alert:
In view of the prevalent conditions in the upper parts of Pakistan, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) alert issued for the province of Sindh focused on gearing up in flood fighting protocols and mechanisms. The PDMA also broadcasted SMS alert in Sindh for the districts of Khairpur, Sukkur, Kasmore, Larkana, Sikarpur, Jacobabad, Kambar, and Ghotki. The messages have reached around 265,000 mobile phone subscribers in high-risk districts.
Irrigation experts said that between 45,000 and 55,000 cusecs of water are expected to pass through Guddu Barrage on September 17. Between 70,000 and 75,000 cusecs of floodwater were earlier expected to pass through Sindh but a large volume of the torrent has been dispersed. However, families living in the low-lying continue to remain at risk.
Anticipating the torrent, the Sindh government has issued a flood warning and asked residents of katcha (riverine) areas to move to safer places. According to Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, all the deputy commissioners (DCs) have issued evacuation notices to residents of katcha areas. Katcha residents, however, said they are not ready to leave since no relief camps have been set up for them by the Sindh government and no transport has been provided for them. In the absence of any arrangements, they said they would rather stay where they are.
Also in Sindh the districts likely to be most affected by the flooding include Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Dadu, and Thatta.
It has been reported that the Sindh government has released 20 million rupees each to all high-risk districts for flood contingencies.
The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), of which CWS-P/A is a member, states that its members are on alert and are gathering information from the districts in Sindh.
Latest figures from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) indicate an estimated 264 people died and 484 were injured. According to the same source, 2,459,708 people are affected by floods in Pakistan. Approximately, 19,557 houses have been reported as damaged or destroyed and more than a million acres of crop area has been affected by the floods. Currently, the worst affected areas in the country are in Northern Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
The NDMA has provided 20,000 tents, 10,000 plastic mats, 20,000 blankets, 471,000 water tablets, 30 mobile filtration plants, 31 boats, and 100 life jackets to Punjab; 3,000 tents, 1,000 blankets and 1,500 plastic mats to Azad Jammu & Kashmir as well as 200 tents, 1,000 blankets, 3 boats, and 275 tents to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The latest UNOCHA update stated that the official early warning systems are in place, supporting targeted rescue operations and helping people to move to safer areas. In Southern Punjab, army and rescue 1122 are helping people move to safer areas.
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.
Last week, the organization’s health team initiated mobile health services to assist affected families in Bagh District, Azad Kashmir. At present, 564 flood affected people have received emergency medical consultations and free medicines. A well-equipped team which includes a doctor, a lady health visitor, and a medical dispenser continues to provide treatment and medicines to affected people.
The MHU is 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.
In order to encourage and support disaster preparedness measures in Thatta District, Sindh Province, CWS-P/A is actively engaged in information dissemination, coordination, and preparedness to reduce the impact of losses in case of possible floods. Through an existing project in the area which was affected badly during the 2010 floods, CWS-P/A has been working with communities to increase knowledge and preparedness for disaster risk reduction through various awareness sessions, its mobile knowledge resource center (MKRC), and building leadership capacities of village organizations (VOs) and community organizations (COs). In order to ensure greater community awareness and preparedness ahead of the expected flooding, CWS-P/A is expanding its initiatives to four additional villages in high-risk areas in addition to supporting the communities with which it is already engaged. The activities involve pre-flood safety messages, alerts, and proactive measures to be adopted by communities at risk.
Furthermore, quality and accountability will be enhanced through capacity building initiatives for aid workers and for affected communities in accessing accountable aid services. 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.