Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pakistan's post-flood blues

IRIN: Nearly one year after devastating floods swamped vast tracts of land across Pakistan, affecting over 20 million people, many survivors are still struggling to rebuild their lives as this year's monsoon season is about to start.

...The first monsoon rains of 2011 have started falling, according to the Meteorological Office, and this is raising anxiety. “We have been able to repair our badly damaged home, but we are still afraid of what may happen now that the rains have begun,” Ahmed Daud Khan, in the town of Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province, told IRIN.

...In Sindh Province, said World Vision Pakistan, the Indus river has already risen. Coupled with melting glaciers and snow in the mountainous north, the situation is threatening 30,000 people in 30 villages in Ghotki District.

The province was the worst hit by the floods, but media reports say 57,000 people have not received assistance. Many have been unable to rebuild or fully repair homes mainly due to large-scale mismanagement in the running of government schemes to help them. Local residents say a government investigation into alleged scams earlier this year, achieved nothing.

Some piecemeal rebuilding efforts have continued, including the re-housing of 334 families in the Dadu and Thatta districts of Sindh in new homes built by the Pakistan Army, but a paucity of funds has adversely affected efforts. Donations, for example, have generally been slow to come in even though innovative methods such as mobile phone games were used to solicit much-needed resources...

A flood scene from 2010 in Layyah on the river Sindh, Pakistan, shot by Nadir.baloach, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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