ISLAMABAD: A large majority of flood-affected people appeared to be unhappy with the performance of state institutions and ruling parties.
However, primordial social networks including extended families, friends and neighbours demonstrated massive sense of empathy in the wake of recent floods.
This was the crux of the assessment survey of Pattan that was conducted during Sept 11-15 by community-based-activists at 38 disaster-hit localities of 14 districts of three provinces.
The survey shows most localities were not happy with any of the state institutions. At three localities, Al-Khidmat Foundation was appreciated, while in a few localities Rescue 1122 and army were praised.
However, some affected people questioned that despite having resources why state institutions took ‘ages’ to reach the affected people. As many as 23 localities did not mention name of any institution because no institution played any role in their areas.
Regarding displacement, people of 92pc locations had to leave their villages and neighbourhoods while most people in eight areas were forced to leave due to floods.
However, from 30 localities every family member left, while people of eight areas left someone behind.
Most community-based observers reported that displaced families had started returning to their residences while no family had returned to 37pc locations.
The survey showed 151 deaths, 51 of them were women, 49 men and 51 children. The affected localities lost nearly 1,000 cows, 1,200 buffaloes and more than 3,000 goats and sheep.
In total 5,795 pukka and 7,195 kutcha houses were completely damaged, while nearly 7,000 houses were partially damaged.
From 11 locations, no one reported loss of wheat grain. It appears people of these locations were very poor and had not stored any wheat, while from six areas wheat loss was in the range of 10 and 500kg and from 14 locations loss of wheat varied between 500 and 8,000kg.
Except for two areas, damage to standing crops of cotton, rice, vegetables, fruit trees and fodder was reported.
Pattan survey also shows that after six weeks of flooding, many families of 15 locations were found living under open sky on roads, embankments and without tents, while many people of 14 localities were still living in their villages but under plastic sheets.
Regarding relief assistance, in 10 locations majority appeared to have received ‘nothing’.
About conditions of roads leading to the surveyed locations, roads were completed damaged in nine areas and in 17 localities, roads were not suitable for small vehicles. Roads leading to eight locations were suitable for all kinds of vehicles.
About the immediate needs of people, the survey said dry ration, drinking water, soaps, sanitary pads, mosquito nets, charpoys and blankets/quilts appeared to be the topmost needs.
It recommended cash transfer to needy families through digital means noting that it will invigorate local business, reduce indebtedness and discourage embezzlement.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022