LAHORE: The flood victims of Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur are living under the sky without any shelter and suffering from skin and viral diseases.

More than a million people have been affected by torrential rains and floods from mountain drains in the two districts in the last 20 days. Besides loss of human lives, the rain and drain water have swept away crops, cattle and mud houses of the people living in villages. The infrastructure and houses in the cities including Taunsa, Fazilpur, Hajipur and Mohammadpur have disappeared.

The affected villages include Nai Abadi, Habib Shah, Seiflani Eidgah, Mathwan, Bathi, Koda, Wahowa, Sanghar, Surilound, Vidoor, Jalo Wali, Kotani, Dagarwali, Basti Gurmani, Lattra, Tibbi Qaisrani, Lami Wasti, Chah Gogan Wala, Patraywala, Bakhshaywala, Chandanwala, Latri Shumali and Janubi, Basti Batkal, Ratera city and Morr Jugni.

Around two feet of floodwater is still standing in and around the cities and villages. However, the people from cities have started returning to their homes after remaining on the road without a roof for 10 to 15 days.

Unicef sees millions of children exposed to diseases

Thousands of people are still living on the bank of the river and Indus Highway without any shelter. The massive floods have resulted in killing 38 people in both districts besides washing out three tehsils and 300 villages of DG Khan and Rajanpur.

The district administrations have set up relief camps and provided the affectees shelter in schools and colleges of the nearby cities including DG Khan, Rajanpur and Jampur.

Makhdoom Fakhar Jahan told Dawn that the people were gradually returning to their homes but still floodwater was standing in their houses and crops. He said the crops in both districts had been destroyed. The village people would have to build new houses and the abodes of the people in the city areas also had been damaged.

He said the residents of nearby cities had provided great help to the flood-affected people by providing them food and shelter. He said although rain had stopped and there was no further floodwater coming in the areas, the displaced would need assistance in rebuilding their homes.

He said the government was unable to help the people but some of the NGOs including Al Khidmat Foundation and locals had worked day in and day out to help the distressed. He said the government should come forward to build the houses, especially in the villages, ahead of winter besides coming up with a plan to compensate the farmers for the losses to enable them to cultivate crops next time.

Meanwhile, the United Nations International Children’s Education Funds (Unicef) has warned that more than three million children are facing health risks.

“Torrential monsoon rains have triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, washing away villages and leaving more than three million children in need of humanitarian assistance and at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition,” a report issued by the global body for children’s rights said.

It said at least 33 million people, of which approximately 16 million are children, have been affected by this year’s monsoon in Pakistan, bringing devastating rains, floods and landslides.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2022

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