More than 30 million people have been affected by monsoon rains and floods in Pakistan for the last 3 months. Since June, more than 900 people have been killed, 50,000 have lost thier homes, and 180,000 have been displaced to different relief camps. Most flood victims are also staying at make shift camps in unknown locations without food. According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) following number of deaths were reported in each province:
Punjab – 165
Sindh – 306 (highest number of deaths)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) – 185
Balochistan – 234,
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) – 37
Gilgit-Baltistan – 9
In Pakistan, Total Rainfall on average was 48mm but the month of August saw 166.8mm, a 240% increase on average. This is mainly due to Sindh and Balochistan, which are worst hit. Sindh saw 700% increase in rainfall while Balochistan 500%. Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan normally had 3-4 cycles of monsoon rains but this time the country was going through its 8th cycle.
Subsequent floods caused by rain destroyed over 700,000 homes along with several hotels, bridges, roads, and communication infrastructure. Moreover, the destruction has left Balochistan’s Capital Quetta isolated from the rest of the country.
Flood Victims at Government’s Mercy
Carrying out relief operations for flood victims has been hard for the government, a fact that officials admitted themselves. They called on the international community for financial help. The United Nations allocated 3 million USD to be used for food, water, health, and sanitation services in areas affected by floods. European Union has allocated additional 1.8 million EUR after last week’s 350,000 EUR to help victims in Balochistan. World Bank has also pledged to donate 350 million USD by the end of this week. Overall, the total international air is reportedly 500 million USD. Apart from that the incumbent government has also announced to donate 25,000 PKR cash to the victims and 1 million PKR to the families of the dead. Now, Pakistanis are hoping that greed doesn’t overpower the need.
Sorrow has engulfed the nation which is criticizing the government for its response to flood. Many took to social media to voice thier concerns which ultimatley suggested that the government has learned nothing from the 2010 floods. They argued that even though floods were because of Climate Change but unable to come up with preventive measures was purely a governance failure. 21 years later there is still no flood warning system which could have helped in avoiding so much death. Meanwhile, the political dynasties remain the same.
Humanitarian organizations have also complained about the non-serious attitude of authorities, dedicated to address disasters like this. Volunteers and NGOs are apparently making efforts on thier own to help the flood victims as much as possible. They have provided food, tents, and non-food items but wished that there were more coordinated efforts from the departments.
No Media Coverage
Citizens also expressed disappointment at the Pakistani media for not reporting about the floods properly. This media is usually at the forefront to cover political issues or controversial topics but for some reason it has failed to report the condition of flood victims. Social media users applauded those individuals who shared the harrowing videos from thier locations. Besides, Facebook and Twitter, TikTok was also being used to share these videos so the disaster gets some attention. This was the same app that Pakistan wanted to ban so desperately 2 years ago. Now this app has become more relevant than mainstream media.