Sunday, December 12, 2010

Floodwaters still washing away lives in Pakistan

Mary Fitzgerald in the Irish Times: The world has moved on from the disaster, but in villages and camps the horror is still unfolding…More than four months after the beginning of the floods that wrought havoc as they washed down along Pakistan’s spine, from its mountainous north to the rich farmland of Punjab and on to Sindh, the waters have receded elsewhere, but here in Dadu’s desolate plains they refuse to go away. The road to Reejhpur is surrounded on all sides by waterlogged fields broken only by an occasional knot of trees. In the village some houses built on higher ground are still standing – many of which bear the tell-tale damp line left behind by 10ft-high floodwaters – but most of the traditional mud-walled homes are now nothing more than piles of bricks.

A quarter of Reejhpur’s inhabitants are still living in the camps they fled to when the waters first crept around the village. Those who have returned sleep under blue tents provided by aid agencies. All complain of being tormented by mosquitoes that swarm from the foul-smelling pools and creeks. Mothers talk of children constantly falling sick due to poor sanitation. Many villagers have worn the same clothes for months – they have nothing else but what they were wearing when they escaped the deluge….

No comments: