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Pakistan Floods 2011 | This is the ground reality | The Friday Times

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The devastation brought by the recent rains in the province of Sindh in Pakistan has brought major misery to its people already struggling to recover from last years mega flood that deluged Pakistan. The below piece from The Friday Times by blogger Faisal Kapadia who is member of SA Relief highlights his shock at society’s attitude to this disaster.

People cross flood water in the Masti Kalan village

The last two years have been like something out of an apocalypse movie for Pakistan. The huge wounds inflicted on the economy and the populace of this nation have not even begun to heal, and a fresh flood has arrived in Sindh.
People are no doubt fed up of the same footage of water-drenched peasants being played before them, and perhaps that is why the media in its utmost sagacity has decided not to show it. This does not take away from the tragedy on the ground, which is an utterly grave one with over 5.3 million people affected and more than 475,000 in camps having lost their homes to the oncoming waters.

It’s like driving in an ocean and it’s seriously scary
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I have along with the team of SA Relief been visiting the rain-affected areas of Khorwah, Golarchi, Badin, Nindo, Khoski, Shadi large and Kohli to distribute relief in whatever way I can. SA Relief is no great NGO with minions across the land. It’s a community-based initiative put together by 6 friends who couldn’t stand by and watch anymore. Four of us are bloggers, that is me, Awab Alvi, Sabahat Ashraf and Arif Rafiq; two of us are from the business community (Nabil Jangda and Rehan Bandukda). Collectively what we have seen on the ground this time is definitely worse than the floods of last year. Of course people are going to tell you that the overall scale is lower. But this year’s disaster is concentrated in one province and that has brought destruction with a magnitude that is utterly unimaginable.

An aerial view of flooded areas in Pangrio. Relief goods are being transferred from trucks to boats

One only has to drive beyond Thatta about one and a half hours from Karachi and it starts. The highway is suddenly surrounded by water from both sides. Half an hour into this and the water reaches road-level on either side and stretches as far as you can see. It’s like driving in an ocean and it’s seriously scary. Not only is the road upon entering the Badin district littered with people seeking shelter but is in several places run over with water: you can see fish and even water snakes the length of your car if you care to stop.
The problems do not end here, sadly. The destruction of homes and crops is just the start. This area is the breadbasket of Pakistan and grows sugarcane, rice, onions and tomatoes, and 5.3 million acres of this crop has been destroyed. The economic results will be before us in a few days with double digit inflation in food staples. Add to this the fact that an over-stretched army is trying its best to evacuate people with little or no response from them, and you have a situation resembling a nightmare. (More)

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