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September 16, 2010 / Rehman Azhar

Photoblog-Victims, Devastation, Rehabilitation and Fears

South Punjab has been one of the worst areas affected by the floodwaters in Pakistan. It is the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history caused by the heavy monsoon pouring in the months of July and August. With about one fifth of the whole country is virtually under water with severe threats to vital national interests. The floods have submerged about 17 million acres of nation’s most fertile croplands, where farming is the mainstay of economy. The waters have also killed more than 200,000 head of livestock, and washed away large quantities of stored commodities that feed millions throughout the year. As the floodwater level comes down and people start returning to their lands, starts the crucial phase and the real challenge of feeding the people, building the infrastructure again and making the land cultivable. This area is just one of the examples of how difficult the task can be.

In Muzzaffargarh, South Punjab people line up to receive ration and aid in a camp. In this district and adjoining areas around 2 million people have been affected by the floods, most of them forced to live in these camps, still waiting to return to their homes. They have to rely on rations being distributed by charity organizations for their daily meals and shelter.

Dr. Wasim Hussain, District Emergency Officer and in charge of the model camp established in union council Adda Lakhi, sweats as he tells about the difficulties of running the camp. His team has been working to provide shelter and food to the people displaced by the floods in South Punjab. His greatest fear is that who would provide resources to feed the people in these camps in the longer run who have nothing left of their livelihoods and will take a long time to build their homes or cultivate their lands again.

A tent erected by a family where once their house stood in Gujrat, a town near Multan where people are returning to their homes after the floodwater is gone. They are still living in tents with no resources to build their houses again. 1,894,530 households have been destroyed with families rendered homeless.

Kot Addu, a town in South Punjab where floodwater destroyed the standing crops of wheat, cotton and sugarcane. The water still holds ground making the land uncultivable for the coming season. 4,460,636 acres of agricultural land has been affected by the floods, which is 1/3rd of the total land used for crop growing threatening Pakistan with a food crises in coming days.

Volunteers from Turkish Red Crescent assemble prefabricated houses with the help of locals in Muzaffargarh district. Along with USAID, UN, DFID (UK) and Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent has been at the forefront in helping the flood-stricken people. 61 countries and six multilateral institutions have committed from for flood relief. The majority of this aid, almost 62 per cent, comes from the top five donors Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Netherlands.

The sun sets in Kot Addu in South Punjab, which is one of the worst areas affected by the floods. Estimates tell that the floods affected 82 districts of Pakistan with 3572 villages destroyed. Once where housing structures and crops stood, now the landscape is changed altogether.

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7 Comments

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  1. Aneeque / Sep 16 2010 5:11 am

    Hi there.. Rehman nice photo-blog there… I must tell that we have been directly working with Dr. Wasim Hussain, (DEO) right from the start of our efforts from 13th August till date, in his jurisdiction ranging from Multan including Muzzafargarh, Shahgarh, Baseera, Mehmood Kot and in our last activity we had arranged for the 1st Medical Camps in that region which continued for more than one week and we had admitting facilities and OPD as well. If you have been there you must have seen different category medical camps under the banner of “Help Us! Help Pakistan”. For lots of pic of this tent village and other pics do visit this URL
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10276&id=100001478490454&l=61ddb8e7ba
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10321&id=100001478490454&l=9d5e7cde40

    Currently we are into rehabilitation – houses and to help create source of income for them….May Allah help us all….

    • Rehman Azhar / Sep 19 2010 1:01 am

      Aneeque I appreciate the work you are doing. This is the time when everyone needs to come forward and do his bit. Great Job. God Bless you.

  2. Melda / Sep 17 2010 8:43 am

    Dearest Rehman,
    What a big pain! What a sad situation! I can’t find words to express my sadness. I wish we were living in an extra-ordinary planet where none of these tragedic disasters don’t happen! The photos are impressive but quiet and sad.
    Take care dear friend!

    • Rehman Azhar / Sep 19 2010 1:03 am

      Thanks a lot for your concern Melda. Situation is really bad as I saw it with my own eyes. But you’ll be surprised that I made friends with people Turkish Red Crescent. It was such a delight seeing those guys working even on Eid day there. It reminded of all the Turk EJIs and just how close these two countries are with each other.

  3. Fasiha Khan / Sep 17 2010 10:26 pm

    Really devastating. no doubt that it will take us long time to get these suffering people back to their normal life. but the main question is still there that when the flood has almost gone by now, then why the rehabilitation
    process haven’t got started yet? its totally the responsibility of the government to provide them enough resources to rebuilt their houses and reset their business. Unfortunately the people in charge are thinking that providing shelters or tents or a time meal is helping these poor people out, which is unfortunately wrong!!
    the confidence of living up the life of these people is shattering, the nation is helping their suffering brothers and sisters but the main point is to get the attention of those, who really have the responsibility of these people.
    May Allah bless us all!!

    • Rehman Azhar / Sep 19 2010 1:05 am

      Yes Fasiha. We still have to go long way. Providing food is not enough. We have to build those areas all again that is quite a difficult task.

  4. AHMAR / Oct 4 2010 4:27 pm

    Nice Doing rehman sir u and ur team just keep going Pakistan Zindabad In shaa Allah Always ….

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