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Flooding has returned to Pakistan, with over one million people having been made homeless over recent weeks.
Heavy monsoon rains have once again decimated the lives of the poorest people here. Just one year after the devastating floods of 2010, 4.5 million acres are once again under water.
This is a massive blow to a country struggling to recover from the damage caused by last year’s flooding, which left 20 million people homeless.
As with last year, it’s the poorest people who are suffering the most. The communities we work with in Pakistan are extremely marginalised and desperately poor. Many are ‘bonded labourers’ working as slaves or tenant farmers reliant on the whims of landlords. These are people who survive on the bare minimum – people stuck on the edge of society, desperately clinging on for survival.
One poor farmer said to our staff, ‘the landlord now wants us to pay for the lost harvest. We have nothing, it is washed away and he will throw us off the land we have worked so hard to make a living from’.
Once again, millions of these people have had their meager homes and scant possessions washed away. Two hundred people have died so far.
In the Sindh Province of southern Pakistan, which has been worst affected, up to 22 inches of rain have fallen in the last week.
Through our partners, we were one of the first organisations to respond to the current floods. We’ve already provided food, tents, health kits and other essential items to 12,000 people, and we will be targeting a further 30,000 over the coming two weeks.
The Pakistani Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), one of our close partners in Pakistan, has so far rescued 28,000 people from flood-affected areas. That figure is set to rise over the coming days and weeks.
There will be hundreds of thousands in camps for many months to come. They ‘ll need shelter and food and protection from disease, abuse and exploitation.
This is a critical time for the poorest people of Pakistan. They need our help.