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footnotes on floods

February 6, 2013

Sindh suffered another flood disaster in the second consecutive year. In mid 2011 Sindh was badly devastated by torrential rains. According to the latest figures of the NDMA, 466 people died during the flood. 34,000 villages were affected and 1.6 million houses were damaged which affected more than 9 million people. Rural economy in the province is ruined as cropped area over 2.1 million acres was damaged and more than 116,000 cattleheads were perished. According to the UN, the floods have wiped out 73 percent of standing crops, 36 percent of livestock, and 67 percent of food stocks in the 13 worst-affected districts of Sindh.
In the months of August and September the crops of sugarcane, cotton, rice,vegetables, maize, pulses,oil seeds and other crops are raised during Kharif season.Crops standing on 70 lac acres of land were damaged out of which 700,766 acres were in 3 districts of Sanghar, Thatta and Shaheed Benazirabad. According to SUPARCO.
Rains also disrupted the education and health sectors as after destruction of thousands of schools and that of their families losing homes, livestock, crops were out of their abodes living life of misery in relief camps or on road sites, their children could not go to school for almost 6 months that is their whole year was lost. Hospitals, dispensaries were no more there as whole infrastructure was swept in gushing flood waters so no or very little medical care and medicines. According to national disaster management authority quoted by daily Dawn of 22 Sept 2011 2 million people have fallen ill from diseases since 2011 floods left Sindh under several feet of water. It said more than 350 people were killed and 8 millions affected. Malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases and snake bites were major health problems.
WHO had warned of more lives at risk saying there was acute shortage of drinking water. According to Mr. Zafar Qadir chairman of NDMA, more than 550,000 people have been made homeless. However briefing national assembly NDMA confirmed death of 209 people in floods in Sindh. He also said that crops standing on 1.7 million acres have been destroyed.
Briefing President and Prime Minister, chairman NDMA Zafar Qadir said that 690,000 houses have been damaged out of which 250,000 completely. Meanwhile according to daily Nation of 20-09-2011, floods have caused huge loss to agrarian economy of Sindh with serious implications for national economy which is still reeling from effects of last year’s floods. There was also food insecurity reported in flood affected areas as Food and Agriculture Organisation of UNO could get only 19.9 millions out of food security cluster funding requirement of dollars 174 millions.


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