SPECIAL REPORTS

Damage Not Done

Pakistan Floods Continue to Send Pakistanis Fleeing From Homes

Pakistanis wade through water as they return to homes. © AFP 2010

So many, still, are running and trying to steer away from a tide of rushing water as if it were a Spanish bull. Six weeks after tides hit the northern provinces, Pakistanis in Sindh are either evacuating or bolstering levees in order to prevent floods from wrecking their villages.

Johi and Dadu are the latest villages, with a combined total of 360,000 people, to be targeted by the rampaging waters.

As a testament to the sweeping power of the floods, 19 of 23 districts in Sindh have been put under water, displacing more than 2.8 million people, according to provincial authorities.

Further south, in Thatta district, 250,000 people are in relief camps established by the provincial government.

Pakistan, throughout the country, continues to struggle to care for those that have seen their homes washed away.

The U.N. is reporting that 3 million people have yet to receive desperately needed food aid while the Pakistani government says nearly 1 million people have received no help of any sort.

Across Pakistan more than 5,000 school buildings and make-shift open air encampments are currently home to more than 1.3 million displaced people.

The floods, which began in the north and then moved south, have made a total of 8 million people dependent on aid, according to the U.N.

Part of the problem is the scale of the crisis, say reports. More than one-fifth of the country has been affected, leaving emergency aid groups scrambling to cover that type of ground. International and Pakistani national aid groups have adopted specific camps to care for but the number of camps is overwhelming for those distributing aid.

Abid Hussein (interviewed by the Associated Press) is one of the typical victims of the floods. His 1-.5-acre farm remains washed out in 3 feet of water. The usual planting season is just weeks away. He, like most farmers here, fear that the waters won’t recede in time. Missing a cycle may mean that the next harvest will not come until May 2012, a huge setback.

While most of the damage here is broken homes, wounded crops is also part of the flood’s wreckage. Nearly 9 million acres of rice, maize, sugar cane and cotton crops have been destroyed, in addition to and 1.2 million livestock and 6 million poultry killed, according to government estimates and the U.N.

“What can we do? We are poor people. If we have something, then we will cultivate our fields,” said Hussein in that Associated Press article. “Otherwise, we can’t do anything.”

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Join the Journey is supporting the Pakistan efforts through our partner Food for the Hungry, which is working with local agencies on the ground to meet basic needs. If you would like to contribute to the Pakistan relief effort, please click here: http://www.fh.org/learn/news/disaster/pakistan-flood-relief?promocode=EK2IAC0H5