ISLAMABAD: A preliminary assessment by the UN Satellite Centre has indicated that floodwaters are increasing in some districts — eight in Sindh, two in Balochistan and one in Punjab.
The situation report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) on Sunday compared the satellite data of Sept 8-14 with the data of Sept 15-21.
The latest data indicated that water levels had gone up from what it had been a week ago in Jamshoro, Malir Karachi, Thatta, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Umer Kot, Tharparkar and Sujawal districts of Sindh; Gwadar and Lasbela districts of Balochistan, and a district in Punjab.
However, floodwaters appear to be receding or stagnating in other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, OCHA said that standing floodwaters and other impacts resulted in an increase in waterborne diseases, unsanitary conditions, and rising malnutrition in the flood-affected areas. As winter is fast approaching, the affected population — both displaced and otherwise — will require assistance in preparing for the imminent cold weather, the report said.
NFRCC puts number of worst-affected districts at 23; waterborne diseases on the rise
Cases of diarrhoea, typhoid and malaria are a growing concern as many people are living in unsanitary conditions in temporary shelters, often with only limited access to basic services. Initial reports of outbreak of vector-borne and waterborne diseases have been received from parts of Balochistan and Sindh.
In an update on Sunday, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) said that 23 districts of the country had so far been declared worst affected due to floods.
“Besides, a total of 13,074 kilometres of roads and 392 bridges have been damaged across the country by the calamity. More than 300 medical camps have been established in the country in which more than 566,089 patients have been treated,” the NFRCC said.
In Sindh, the data said, the worst-affected districts were Qambar-Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Naushehro Feroz, Thatta and Badin.
In Balochistan, Quetta, Nasirabad, Jafferabad, Jhal Magsi, Bolan, Sohbatpur and Lesbela were the worst hit. In KP, Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Kohistan, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan were the badly affected, while in Punjab, DG Khan and Rajanpur were the worst-hit.
The NFRCC said that 147 relief camps and 237 relief collection points had been set up in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.
So far 10,309 tonnes of food items along with 1,746 tonnes of sustenance items and 10,184,230 medicines have been collected. It said that 10,175 tonnes of food, 1,732 tonnes of sustenance items and 10,118,930 medicines had been distributed among the marooned people to date.
So far, the centre said, 619 army aviation helicopters sorties had been flown in various areas evacuating 4,659 stranded people. More than 300 medical camps of army have been established so far in which more than 566,089 patients were treated across the country.
The centre said Pakistan Navy established four flood relief centers and 18 central collection points across the country. These centres have so far distributed 1,758 tonnes of ration, 6,407 tents and 727,848 liters of mineral/fresh water in various districts.
In addition to this, 19 tent cities have also been established in Qambar-Shahdadkot, Dadu, Bhan Syedabad, Sukkur and Sujawal in which 25,097 people have been accommodated and being looked after there.
Moreover, the NFRCC said, the PN’s 23 Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) had been deployed all over the country and they had rescued 15,565 stranded people to date. These ERTs are equipped with 54 motorised boats and two hovercraft.
The PN has also deployed two helicopters in Sindh. In 70 sorties, these helicopters have so far rescued 478 stranded people and distributed 5,258 packets of ration among the affected people.
Pakistan Air Force, the centre said, had provided 6,415 tents, 537,081 food packages, 3,389 tonnes of ration and 285,358 litres of fresh water among the affected people. Moreover, the PAF has also established 46 medical camps where 70,608 patients have been treated so far.
Ikram Junaidi also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022