Nation of Pakistan Hit by Floods Again
It was only a little more than a year ago when Pakistan was last hit by devastating floods. But here they are again. For the past two weeks, heavy rains and flooding have wreaked havoc and heartbreak for people in the cities of Karachi, Quetta and the Sindh province in the south as a whole. At last count, 5.5 million people have been affected, with UNICEF’s count of 2.7 million being children – only 150,000 of whom are in disaster camps in drier areas. Approximately 250 people have already been killed and 1.4 million homes damaged. Pakistan’s agricultural areas have been ravaged if not destroyed; an estimated 4.5 million acres are underwater, which loosely equates to 80% of crops for this poor region of farmers.
Like last year, the rains of monsoon season have not let up. Put in perspective, Hurricane Katrina caused the homelessness of 75,000 people, while in Pakistan 11 million people lost their homes due to flooding. Tent cities are still an everyday scene as 800,000 people remain displaced.
Relief scenes this week are reminiscent of the hardships of the prior year’s floods which ultimately killed nearly 2,000 people. Already the United States, Japan and China have pledged and provided aid to the third world nation, which is steeped in poverty and struggling with loans, among other problems. Supplies in the Sindh province are already running low and the seemingly interminable rainfall is causing anxiety as more and more people are affected. Those evacuating the flood-stricken areas are frustrated with the slow response from the government but thankful for the charities which are tirelessly working in their stead.
For more information on how to help, please visit this guide for the names of the many groups who are working with flood relief efforts.
Sabeen H. Ahmad is Co-Editor of Divanee. You can follow her updates on her blog: Lafz.