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ACF Provides Clean Water & Sanitation in Flood-Affected Pakistan

Emergency response to control water-borne diseases will reach tens of thousands
ACF distributes hygiene kits in Pakistan. Photo courtesy: ACF-Pakistan, M. Mechmache

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN—In spite of serious logistical challenges in reaching flood survivors in hard-hit areas of Pakistan, Action Against Hunger | ACF-International has launched emergency programs to stem outbreaks of deadly water-borne illnesses and help families who have lost everything. These programs target 52,500 people particularly affected by torrential rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces.

“Action Against Hunger’s teams are fully engaged in responding to the urgent needs of families sheltering in temporary camps or returning to their villages in both the north and south of the country,” said Mohamed Mechmache, Emergency Coordinator for Action Against Hunger’s programs in Pakistan.

Flood water in northern and central Pakistan is gradually receding, leaving in its wake considerable damage. The flooding has now reached the south of the country, including the region of Thatta in the Sindh province, where ACF is one of few NGOs present. The Indus river has spilled over its banks, leaving fields and entire villages buried in muddy water.

During the first six months, ACF will focus on providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to prevent water-related illnesses like cholera and acute diarrhea. ACF has begun organizing daily distributions of 32,000 liters of drinking water through a range of methods, including water trucking, installation of pumps and portable reservoirs, and the restoration of some 100 water points and damaged irrigation systems. Its teams will also construct 600 emergency latrines, hand-washing stations, and showers to help ensure sanitary conditions in camps for the displaced and in nearby villages.

To meet basic hygiene needs, ACF has begun distributing 7,500 kits containing essential items like buckets, soap, detergent, sanitary pads, and water purification tablets. In conjunction with these distributions, the agency is training families on effective emergency hygiene practices to reduce the risk of water-borne illnesses and is launching programs to spray affected areas with insecticide and clear them of dangerous debris.

During initial assessments, ACF identified individuals and families whose assets and livelihoods were destroyed by the floods. “The men have returned first to evaluate the damage, and they are now being joined by their families. Some have lost everything, including their seeds, their crops, their livestock, and other sources of income,” explained Mechmache.

ACF’s “cash for work” and fresh food voucher programs will provide financial support to more than 10,000 affected families, helping restore their ability to feed themselves in the months to come. The most vulnerable households will also receive cooking utensils, blankets, sheets, mosquito nets, and mattresses.

Action Against Hunger launched its very first humanitarian intervention 30 years ago for Afghan refugees who crossed into Pakistan. In the 1990s, the organization returned to the country to address food and water insecurity across its southern and western provinces. More recently, ACF recently provided emergency assistance after the 2005 earthquake and the 2007 flooding in Sindh province.

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