Torrential Rains and Monsoon Flooding Affect Millions in Southern Pakistan

Heavy monsoon rains have displaced hundreds of thousands and complicated recovery efforts for communities still reeling from the historic floods of 2010
ACF staff fill a fresh water bladder in Thatta, Sindh Province, Pakistan
ACF staff fill a fresh water bladder in Thatta, Sindh Province, Pakistan. © ACF-Pakistan, N. Sobecki.

Heavy monsoon rains have inundated southern Pakistan, displacing some 200,000 people and leaving an estimated five million people in need of humanitarian assistance across the Balochistan and Sindh Provinces. In response to the Government of Pakistan’s call for international support, Action Against Hunger has launched rapid needs assessments in the Sindh Province to determine emergency needs among the affected communities, many of which have yet to fully recover from the historic floods of 2010.

“The Government has requested the international humanitarian community to come forward and share our burden for lifesaving areas…shelter, food security, health and water, sanitation and hygiene, along with identifying any pressing needs in protection, nutrition and early recovery. The help is to be provided now before this disaster consumes more human lives in the country.”

Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir, NDMA Chairman
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority

With more than four million acres under water and some 200 deaths attributed to the floods, this natural disaster already represents a major setback for communities still reeling from catastrophic floods one year ago. As some regions have already received more precipitation in just a few days than they normally experience all season—and with more rains forecast for the coming weeks—our teams fear conditions will only deteriorate further.

Rising flood waters have overwhelmed drainage systems and breached protection dykes to claim agricultural fields and residential areas alike, destroying homes, livelihoods, crops, and once-safe water sources, leaving communities exposed to a mix of industrial wastes and water-borne diseases in addition to water damage.

With 22 of its 23 districts under water, and with some 3.4 million people affected, the Sindh Province is by far the hardest hit of Pakistan’s southern provinces. In response, Action Against Hunger’s teams have carried out rapid needs assessments in the Sindh districts of Thatta, Dadu, Badin, and Tando Muhammad Khan to help ensure a coordinated humanitarian response plan.

With the bulk of immediate needs predicted in shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene, and basic health care, ACF’s rapid surveys uncovered the following findings:

  • Sanitation facilities are insufficient or insufficiently cleaned
  • Insufficient water storage facilities.
  • No hygiene kits have been provided to prevent water borne diseases.
  • Widespread needs for distributions of food rations.
  • Populations lack fuel for cooking.
  • Shelter is generally insufficient, especially with more rain forecast.
  • Questionable water quality among some water trucking efforts.
  • Vegetable crops have been destroyed by standing water.
  • Income losses for daily wage earners with agricultural fields under water.
  • Fish farming has been affected as fish pond walls have broken.

Action Against Hunger has proposed the following interventions to help the displaced and stranded communities cope with this latest disaster:

  • Provision proper storage systems and water tanks.
  • Provision of temporary latrines in the camps and affected villages.
  • Distribution of hygiene kits and mosquito nets.
  • Cleaning of sanitation facilities and displacement camps through cash transfer activities.
  • Set-up of chlorination points and water treatment plants.
  • Emergency screening to detect acutely malnourished children.
  • Setting up water treatment plants.
  • Chlorination of water being provided by District authorities.