In response to severe flooding in Pakistan, Action Against Hunger participated in joint assessments of conditions in Pakistan's Sindh and Balochistan provinces during the last week of June and in early July. Operations on the ground were established in Larkana on July 18th.
In the last week of June 2007, the combined effect of the cyclone Yemyin and massive monsoon rains has caused flooding in various districts of Balochistan and Sindh, Pakistan’s two southernmost provinces. 2.5 million people have been affected in 28 districts, of whom 400,000 have been left homeless.
Of the five affected districts of Sindh, the districts of Shadadkot and Dadu were the most severely hit. It is reported that massive flooding experienced in these Districts is due primarily to breaches of the Flood Protection Bund. Reports indicate that more than 100,000 people have been displaced in Shadadkot and Dadu.
Adverse effects on water and sanitation in these Districts can be summarized as follows:
- Sources of drinking water (irrigation channels, tube wells, shallow wells) are physically damaged; - Flood waters have surrounded some of the elevated villages, preventing inhabitants from leaving to fetch safe drinking water;
- In the places where internally displaced populations (IDPs) are gathering (improvised camps, government buildings, etc…), the water and sanitation facilities are insufficient;
- Due to general destruction/loss of infrastructure, some people are currently lacking basic water transport and storage items, as well as basic hygiene items.
Action Against Hunger has initiated an emergency program to address water, sanitation, and hygiene that will assist 20,000 flood-affected persons in the districts of Shadadkot and Dadu. The program’s integrated approach includes the following activities:
- Water trucking in the IDP camps (as they are accessible by road and are not sufficiently covered by the current governmental water trucking schemes);
- Hand-augered wells with hand-pumps (an accepted water source for this area), to be established in flood-affected villages that lack road access;
- Water treatment/purification at the household level (to be implemented in places where the water turbidity allows the distribution of water purification tablets);
- Construction of Emergency toilets (mainly in IDPs camps) for general sanitary conditions, and to address privacy issues for women;
- A Non-Food Items (NFI) distribution to be conducted (including containers for water transport/storage as well as hygiene items). NFI distributions are complemented by sensitization sessions on their use;
- Hygiene promotion campaigns(to focus on the use of safe drinking water, use of toilets, hand-washing with soap at appropriate times).