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It was only last year that one-fifth of the Pakistan’s landmass and 20 million citizens were affected by mega flooding which made it one of the largest natural disasters in recent history. Rehabilitation work in these flood-stricken areas was not yet started that one of the country’s most badly hit province of Sindh last year is once again suffering by the heaviness of monsoon floods.
It has exactly been a month that floods began and lashing of monsoon rains have compounded them recently which have hampered relief efforts. According to the official sources already hundreds have been killed and some six million people are affected in the province. Thousand of villages have been inundated displacing millions of people and shattering the irrigation system with colossal loss of crops. But ironically, international community is still not aware of the misery of humanity in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
As Islamabad has formally asked for foreign assistance, the United Nations is rushing food and tents, the aid response so far is much less than last year, although this may has to do with the lack of information available before about the severity of this calamity and that the scale of disaster is less this time, but the misery for those affected is perhaps more than last year.
200,000 people have been homeless and there are only few shelters, as water is everywhere, there are even not many places to set up the makeshift tents. Stranded by floodwaters in the town of Badin, army soldier Mohammed Hameed was unable to get to the graveyard to bury his 5-year-old daughter when she succumbed to diarrhea. He laid her to rest in his courtyard.
Thousands of people have no food at all, thousands of women are pregnant and medical aid is too far from them, thousands of people in particular young ones are suffering from diarrhea, skin and other water-borne diseases, thousands of schools are underwater leaving children with no option, but to stop their education. According to UNICEF up to 2.5 million children in Sindh have now been affected by the severe monsoon rains and floods. Already hand to mouth, thousands of household possessions have been drowned in water leaving thousands with nothing except few clothes. Public infrastructure including roads are swamped by water leaving behind no means of transportation other than boats.
The images and news coming from the on ground situation in the Sindh province of the country is heart renching for any human being to heed the call by lending a helping hand to those dying and suffering in the southern province of Pakistan.
Pakistani people remember and sincerely thank the world for generous support for the last year’s catastrophe in Pakistan; however, due to the fact that this disaster has hit again just over a year after to the region where the post disaster work was not even started in full swing and people were already coping with tough times, the recent flooding has added up to the miseries for them more than ever before, and therefore all concern citizens of the world must act now to help the people suffering in Pakistan before it is very late.
There are urgent and crucial needs for food, safe drinking water, tents and medical aid. This monsoon flooding is triggering another international aid effort and now is the time that the world must come together as one.
Please see the latest pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unicefpakistan/sets/72157627518670303/
Bilal Masood National Focal Point-Pakistan UNICEF Rural Voices of Youth