Since mid-June, 937 people have died due to torrential rains and floods across the South Asian country, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman called the floods “unprecedented” and “the worst humanitarian catastrophe of this decade”.
“Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoons while the country usually experiences only three to four cycles of rain,” said Fazlur Rahman. “The torrential torrent percentages are horrific.”
She particularly highlighted the impact on the south of the country, adding that “maximum” relief efforts are underway.
She said the NDMA, the Pakistan Army and the Regional Disaster Management Authority were working to help those affected – but there was an “urgent” need for shelter and relief due to the increasing number of displaced and homeless families.
She added that the southern province of Sindh, which was badly affected by the floods, requested one million tents, while the neighboring province of Balochistan – largely cut off from electricity, gas and internet – asked for 100,000 tents.
“Pakistan’s priority at the moment is this climate-induced humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions,” Rehman said, urging the international community to provide assistance given Pakistan’s “limited” resources.
On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif briefed international diplomats on the crisis, noting that his country – on the front line in the face of climate change despite its relatively small carbon footprint – should focus its rehabilitation toward greater resilience in the face of climate change.
30 million people have been affected, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters separately, a figure that would represent about 15% of the South Asian country’s population.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update Thursday that the monsoon rains have affected nearly 3 million people in Pakistan, of whom 184,000 have been displaced to relief camps across the country.
The financing and reconstruction efforts will present a challenge to cash-strapped Pakistan, which has to cut spending to ensure the IMF agrees to release much-needed bailout funds.
Over the past 24 hours, 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) of roads were damaged across the country and more than 82,000 homes were partially or completely damaged, the National Disaster Management Administration said in a report.
Since mid-June, when the monsoon began, more than 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of roads, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes have been damaged, according to the NDMA’s latest situation report, and figures echoed in the OHCA report.
‘The rain never stopped’
The vast majority of this damage is in the bond.
“Brother, the rain hasn’t stopped for three months… We are living in a rickshaw with our children because the roof of our mud house is leaking,” a woman who asked not to be named told Reuters TV in Hyderabad in Sindh province. The second largest city.
Sitting with three of her sons in the wagon, she said, “Where do we go? The gutters are overflowing, our yard is full of sewers. Our homes and alleys have turned into a floating rubbish bin.”
OCHA also warned that flood alerts, river flows and landslides have been issued in several areas of Pakistan, and heavy rains are expected in the next two days also in most parts of the country.
Rahman said the rainfall in Sindh province increased by 784% this month over the August average, with 23 areas declared affected.
Among the worst affected areas is neighboring Balochistan, where the provincial capital, Quetta, has largely been cut off from electricity, gas and internet.
Rahman added that rainfall has increased by nearly 500% in the province, leading to the suspension of electricity and gas services in most districts of Quetta since Thursday morning, according to the provincial disaster management authority.
Severe outages in the city’s cellular, internet and landline services caused problems for the rescue operations, leading the Balochistan government to request the assistance of the Pakistan Army in the rescue efforts.
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