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Pakistan: thousands still in peril in flood-hit Sindh

25-10-2011 Operational Update No 02/11

As many as 8.9 million people in 23 districts of Sindh province are reeling from the monsoon rains, according to official figures of the National Disaster Management Authority. Approximately 340,000 people remain in more than 1,100 camps or are being hosted by local residents.

"With no sustainable recovery in sight so far, people ultimately have to rely on humanitarian aid to survive. For many of them, there is very little chance of being able to get the food and clean water they need on their own," said Peter Lick, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Karachi. "Some people are still without shelter. Basic health and hygiene are also concerns as floodwaters stagnate and recede. Most people had not recovered from last year's devastating floods before disaster struck again."

As the crisis spread across the south of the country, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, working together with partners within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, stepped up its aid effort. It is now providing aid for over 465,000 people. Relief activities began in Badin, in the south of Sindh province, and gradually expanded to the 10 worst-affected districts. The ICRC has come forward to provide food and basic relief items for over 100,000 people in the flood-stricken districts of Badin, Thatta and Tharparker through the Pakistan Red Crescent.

Trucking water to remote communities

From the moment the floods began, providing a reliable supply of drinking water has been a major problem. Although the Pakistan Red Crescent has installed eight water treatment units, many flood victims do not yet have access to the clean water produced. For the time being, the only solution is to deliver clean water by truck in the districts of Sanghar, Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Khairpur. Given the seriousness of the situation, it could be necessary to continue to provide this service for another two months.

  • Five 10,000-litre tankers supply water in the four districts every day. Two tankers go to Mirpurkhas, while each of the remaining districts is served by one tanker.
  • Twenty-five 4,500-litre water reservoirs placed in the four districts are replenished regularly.

Shelter and basic health

The Pakistan Red Crescent has been distributing tents, tarpaulins, sleeping mats, jerrycans, mosquito nets, insect repellent and kitchen sets for over 9,000 people in Sanghar, Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Badin. The ICRC has provided 1,300 tents and basic supplies for local Pakistan Red Crescent basic health units and mobile clinics in these districts and in Thatta.

Because the Pakistan Red Crescent maintains emergency stocks in all provinces, and the ICRC in Karachi, the emergency supplies arrived where they were needed quickly and in good condition.

Standing by victims of 2010 floods

More than a year after the worst floods experienced by Pakistan in over 80 years, tens of thousands of people are still facing hardship in the areas of northern Sindh that were hardest hit. Not only did they lose their rice harvest to the floods, but they were also not able to grow a crop during the following wheat season. Between May and July 2011, the ICRC provided rice seed, fertilizer and tools as well as food to help people restart their agricultural production.

This month, the ICRC started its final round of distributions of food and hygiene items for approximately 210,000 people to help them get through the harvest period and prepare for the next growing season.

For further information, please contact:
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Pakistan, tel: +92 300 850 56 93
Peter Lick, ICRC Karachi, tel: +92 302 811 05 80


Photos

Garhi Khairo, Jacobabad, Pakistan. People in this area are still recovering from the devastating floods of 2010. 

Garhi Khairo, Jacobabad, Pakistan. People in this area are still recovering from the devastating floods of 2010. The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society are distributing rice seed, fertilizer and agricultural implements, and the ICRC is distributing food so that people will plant the rice seed rather than eat it.
© ICRC / J. Ahmed

Pakistan. Mohammad Saleem returns to his damaged house across a flooded field, carrying a cooking set, blanket and mosquito nets. His village was hit hard by the monsoon that started on 9 August 2011. 

Pakistan. Mohammad Saleem returns to his damaged house across a flooded field, carrying a cooking set, blanket and mosquito nets. His village was hit hard by the monsoon that started on 9 August 2011.
© International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies / O. Matthys

Garhi Khairo, Jacobabad, Pakistan. People in this area are still recovering from the devastating floods of 2010. 

Garhi Khairo, Jacobabad, Pakistan. People in this area are still recovering from the devastating floods of 2010. The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society are distributing rice seed, fertilizer and agricultural implements, and the ICRC is distributing food so that people will plant the rice seed rather than eat it.
© ICRC / J. Ahmed