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Monday November 28, 2022

830 people died, thousands rendered homeless amid torrential rains: Sherry

It is a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented monsoon proportions, says climate change minister

By News Desk
August 24, 2022
View of stagnant water after low-level flood at Indus River while flood water entered riverside settlements, showing negligence of concerned authorities, in Sukkur on Monday, August 22, 2022.-PPI
View of stagnant water after low-level flood at Indus River while flood water entered riverside settlements, showing negligence of concerned authorities, in Sukkur on Monday, August 22, 2022.-PPI

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman has stressed the need for immediate humanitarian and rescue efforts to rehabilitate the aggrieved and flood-hit populations throughout the country.

During a briefing on the current flood emergency in the country to reassess the damage caused by recurring and unprecedented floods, the minister said that 830 people were killed, 1,348 were injured and thousands of people rendered homeless amid torrential rains in the country.

From Balochistan, the monsoon system has moved to Sindh where 30 districts are under water. During the current monsoon, Sindh and Balochistan experienced 395 percent and 379 percent above the average rainfall, she said.

It is a climate catastrophe of epic scale, bringing in its wake the humanitarian crisis that could well match the magnitude of the big flood that was witnessed in 2010. At this point, both sides of the Indus are flooded in Sindh, which is the current epicentre of the calamity. Shelter is dangerously impacted in the 30 districts of Sindh, and even in Balochistan, and now the same kind of speed and velocity of water is being experienced in south Punjab. People are adrift, livestock and crops are damaged. It is a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented monsoon proportions, said Sherry.

Given the scale of the disaster, there is no question of the provinces or even Islamabad being able to cope with this magnitude of climate catastrophe on their own. Lives are at risk, thousands homeless. It is important that international partners mobilise assistance. The Indus is in high floods where flow of over 600,000 cusecs is expected to cross Guddu and then Sukkur Barrages on 23rd and 24th of August, 2022 which will bring all the Katcha area along Indus under water, displacing thousands of families.

This is in addition to the current displacement. In terms of precious human lives, 216 lives have been lost to the floods in Sindh. An estimated 1,500,000 katcha houses have been damaged and crops cultivated on 1,989,868 acres have been completely destroyed in Sindh.

And with the new monsoon spell setting in, other areas in the country, especially DG Khan, will remain vulnerable to hill torrents. Stressing on the need for urgent and immediate relief measures, Minister Rehman said, “The current climate catastrophe needs immediate international and national mobilisation of humanitarian efforts, not just in the form of food, shelter and basic survival amenities but we need to amplify our rescue efforts.”

The NDMA, Pakistan Army, along with the provincial governments are tirelessly involved in dealing with this climate crisis. But lack of resources is a huge challenge. It is important to coordinate needs of calamity hit areas and triangulate with development partners and donors.

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