Aug 28, 2007

Sindh: Floods Still Endangering Thousands

Countless people are still housed in makeshift shelters, living off emergency rations, and plagued by disease two months after Cyclone Yemyin devastated their homes.

Countless people are still housed in makeshift shelters, living off emergency rations, and plagued by disease two months after Cyclone Yemyin devastated their homes.

Below are extracts from a report published by ReliefWeb:

This situation report is based on information received from the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Meteorological Department, Clusters, and media sources. 

Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster reports that the humanitarian situation remains critical for an estimated 250,000 displaced people in the worst affected areas, two months after Cyclone Yemyin hit southern Pakistan. The Cluster gave a detailed presentation on conditions in the formal sites, collective centres and spontaneous roadside settlements at the UN Resident Coordinator's Donor Briefing on 24 August in Islamabad.


Sindh and Balochistan

1. An estimated 2.5 million people in Sindh and Balochistan provinces in southern Pakistan have been affected by the June cyclone and floods, similar to the numbers affected by the earthquake in 2005. Most of the affected population has lost household assets, livelihoods and access to food security. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports that as of 23 August, the total death toll has increased to 420 (205 in Balochistan and 215 in Sindh) with 224 persons missing. 

2. The displaced population of an estimated 250,000 people is in substantial need of safe water, sanitation and basic health facilities and, in some areas, shelter. Foul stagnant water makes the IDPs vulnerable to outbreaks of water and vector-borne

diseases and skin diseases are rife. World Health Organisation (WHO) teams report that only 20-30% of the 450,000 people affected by floods in Dadu and Kamber districts, Sindh province, have access to safe drinking water. Humanitarian assistance is needed for at least 2-3 months until the flood waters recede. Cash-for-work, livelihoods projects and return assistance will all be essential if a situation of long-term impoverishment is to be avoided. 


10. On 24 August, the Camp Coordination Camp Management Cluster (CCCM) gave a detailed presentation in the Donors Briefing in Islamabad on the current conditions in the formal sites (tented camps), collective centres and spontaneous settlements in Balochistan and Sindh. IOM Rapid Response Teams have mapped the locations of the displaced communities. According to the information gathered, there is a large population of over 200,000 people living in spontaneous roadside settlements, mainly in north-west Sindh province, that is unable to return home even now because flood waters have not receded. With extensive farmland still under water many of these farming communities are unable to access their land to prepare for the Rabi Crop sowing in September. In addition, there have been extensive losses and damages to orchards, poultry and livestock, irrigation canals, water systems and village roads. Food shortages are expected to get worse if these communities are not supported. 

11. Some 20,000 displaced people are living in 22 formal sites (tented camps), mainly in Balochistan, and training is urgently needed for the local authorities and local NGOs on camp management and protection issues for women and young girls. In addition, an estimated 25,000 people are living in 152 collective centres (schools, hospitals, government buildings), mainly in Sindh province. This population is also unable to return home due to the stagnant water levels. As a result, the schools did not reopen on time and the provincial authorities estimate this situation will continue for another 3 months. The CCCM and Education clusters plan to construct temporary learning spaces for IDPs and village children and to support the local authorities with registration, return assistance and packages.

12. As of 23 August, NDMA reports that of the flood affected population, 242,738 patients have been treated in Balochistan, and 165, 855 patients treated in Sindh. Malaria, acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea and dehydration are the main illnesses and represent a severe disease burden on communities, especially for women and children. Skin diseases due to poor hygiene or biting insects are widespread and reported to be a major problem in Dadu district.