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SITUATION REPORT: Pakistan Floods

By • Sep 6th, 2010

SITUATION REPORT: PAKISTAN, MONSOON FLOODS

September 1, 2010

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

The Government now reports that over 18 million people have been affected by the floods. The death toll stands at 1,667. Over 1.2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed. Floodwaters are receding in many areas, and though there are concerns about standing water that remains in Punjab and other areas, the worst of the current flooding is taking place in Sindh.

Two areas in Sindh have been affected by major flooding since the last situation report. On Monday floodwaters entered Gaji Khuhwar, a town of 40,000 people in Warah tehsil, Qamber Shahdadkot district. Efforts to divert floodwaters from Warah town are ongoing. New flooding was also reported from Mehar and Khairpur Nathan Shah tehsils in neighbouring Dadu district. Dadu and Johi towns are under threat as floodwaters continue to move southwards through Hamal Lake. Flooding in this area has extended west and south from the Indus since an embankment was breached over two weeks ago, inundating Jacobabad and parts of Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts in the neighboring province of Balochistan.

Further south, in Thatta district, almost 1,300 km2 of land are reported to have been flooded in recent days following a breach near Surjani last week, displacing more than half a million people. An estimated 400,000 people are believed to have moved to higher ground on the outskirts of Makli, near Thatta town, and along the Karachi-Hyderabad highway. Others have moved towards Golarchi in Badin district, to the east of Thatta. Floodwaters are now threatening the towns of Jati and Chohar Jamali, near the coast to the east of the Indus. Parts of the highway between Thatta and Badin has been submerged.

Education

The cluster reports that 180 schools have been damaged in FATA (mainly in Frontier Region D.I. Khan). The total number of flood-damaged schools in the country stands at 9,484. There is a need to provide temporary school structures as well as school supplies such as tents, school-in-a-box kits and recreation kits for fully damaged schools to ensure continuation of education during the transition period from tents to permanent buildings. Government schools in Punjab are due to reopen 14 September.

Health

Latest figures show that more than 436 health facilities in affected areas have been damaged or destroyed. The cluster needs to prevent emerging health threats and outbreaks through fast, timely, effective and coordinated joint health interventions. There is also a need to ensure that requested medical supplies reach affected communities in time. Increased numbers of suspected malaria cases are being recorded in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Nutrition

Children under five make up approximately 14% of the affected population, while 8% are pregnant and lactating women. At least 6% are elderly or otherwise vulnerable. The cluster’s priorities for rapid nutrition assistance at this point are children under five and PLW. There is also a need to establish community-level acute malnutrition programmes in affected areas. Key messages on infant and young child feeding and hygiene also need to be disseminated in the affected areas.

Shelter

The latest figures show 1.25 million houses have been damaged or destroyed. There are major needs for emergency shelter in all affected provinces, but in particular in Sindh and Punjab, where coverage is 3% and 5% respectively. Though more organisations are scaling up their responses in Punjab and Sindh, ongoing flooding in Thatta district in southern Sindh is expected to stretch resources even further. Movement of people back to their homes in areas where waters are receding means that relief and early recovery responses will need to be carried out in parallel. Some relief camps are being closed in southern Punjab (as of 31 August, 3 of the initial 11 camps managed by the army have been closed; of the 214 other sites, there have so far been no reports of closure).

Updated map of flooded areas (click on map to enlarge):