Summer 2010. Unusually heavy monsoon rains hit Pakistan—and bring the country its worst floods in recorded history. 20 million people were impacted—more than a tenth of the population.

Homes, roads, bridges, crops and livestock were washed away. The flood ploughed a swathe of destruction from northern Pakistan to the southern province of Sindh. The floods ravaged the lives and livelihoods of millions and the impact of this disaster will be felt for years to come.

Operation USA is focusing long-term recovery efforts on supporting the rebuilding of the already tenuous education capacity for girls—alongside a community-led recovery program in the Bangla Ichha Union Council, an acutely vulnerable community in southern Punjab.

OpUSA partnership with Relief4Pakistan—and focus on Bangla Ichha

Located on the western banks of the Indus river, where Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces meet, Bangla Ichha is an area inhabited by the Mazari tribe. 95% of the community here is agrarian—and was deeply affected by the floods.

– 30,000 people were displaced—75% of the total population
– An estimated 5,000 homes were destroyed or damaged
– 95% of the cultivated agricultural land was submerged by the floods

Due to a lack of funding from government sources and minimal presence of international institutions, the dykes in Bangla Ichha have historically been weak, leaving hundreds of villagers vulnerable to annual flooding. Implemented in partnership with the Khawateen Cooperative Society, a local community-based organization, Operation USA and Relief4Pakistan are working to have nearly 19 kilometers of dykes reconstructed and secured. Once stabilized, only minor annual maintenance will be necessary.

Due to climate change and other environmental factors, it is expected that this region will be continually vulnerable to severe flooding. The strengthened dykes would mitigate the impact of these floods on lives and livelihoods, leading to higher income generation. A more prosperous community will allow for an increased access to education and vocational training options for younger generations.