Worst floods in history of Pakistan
The floods in Pakistan have taken on a bizarre picture, with hundreds dead and millions homeless. WWF – Pakistan has also been affected, with several of our site offices under water. In these places we have suspended our regular work and are rescuing as many people as we possibly can. As news develops of our rescue efforts, and indeed of the situations regarding people and biodiversity, it will be put on this website as it comes in.
From Zafar Ali, WWF’s Pakistan Wetlands Programme office
30-8-2010: CIWC team has arranged for mobile medical relief facility to those flood affected communities who do not have access to or can’t afford to reach the temporarily established relief camps. On the first day, more than 340 patients were checked in the CIWC mobile relief camp.
In collaboration with Saiban Welfare Trust, a local NGO, another mobile medical relief camp is arranged for today due to pressing demand from the community. CIWC team is providing medicines donated by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh (The Friday Times), while the Saiban foundation is responsible from arranging doctors and a vehicle.
Collaboration and collective action from local partners and other organizations has helped CIWC to effectively provide for the flood affected people of the Kot Addu area.
On 23rd of August, 2010 as a result of coordination of CIWC team with MESSAGE Welfare Trust, a local NGO based in Lahore, more than 6000 Kilograms of food items including 3060 liters of mineral water were distributed among 194 households of CIWC flood affected communities. Out of total 194 households, 44 belong to Sultan Kot, 30 to Ehsan Pur, 60 to Basti Allah Wali and 40 to Haji Pur community.
With CIWC Team’s coordination and local outreach, more than 25,000 doses of different medicines including anti malarial, anti-histamine and other antibiotic medicine by MESSAGE Welfare Trust were provided to the affected. Out of the total 25,000 doses, 6000 were provided to Daira Deen Pana medical relief camp jointly established by CIWC and Saiban Welfare Foundation and 6000 to Iqbal Library medical relief camp jointly established by CIWC and other local partners. The remaining are planned to be used in the mobile medical relief camp that is to be organized soon by CIWC team in collaboration with TIRRA, a local NGO.
26-8-10: As a result of CIWC team efforts, on 21st of August, 2010 bags of more than 500 kilograms in food items, donated by a local partner of CIWC (Mr Ali Akbar) were distributed amongst the CIWC flood affected organized communities. The food items were equally distributed among 50 affected households in the area of Bait Qaim Wala, Daira Deen Pana, Ehsan Pur, and Kot Sultan. CIWC team provided field assistance during the distribution process.
The Pakistan Wetlands Programme’s site office, situated between Taunsa Barrage and Kot Adu, distributed more than 8,000 anti-malarial and anti-histamine medicines to medical relief camps established in the area, in collaboration with the Punjab Health Department and the NGO Saiban Welfare Foundation.
Five hundred kgs of livestock fodder were given for stranded livestock in seven livestock relief camps. More than 150 kgs of fodder were distributed directly to communities.
Hizbullah Mahesar, WWF – Pakistan Sukkur Office
21-8-2010: More than 70 members of the field staff were affected by flood or rains in some way or the other. A thorough survey was conducted for verification and it was found that WWF – Pakistan staff members as well as their family members were in urgent need of relief. In District Ghotki, 8 WWF – Pakistan staff members with displaced families were provided immediate relief. The staff members are Field Facilitators. The Field Facilitators assembled at Dharki office and were provided the relief packages, which included flour, rice, three different types of pulses (maash, moong, channa), oil, sugar, tea, mineral water, spices and soap.
From Imran Malik, WWF – Pakistan Sukkur office:
The water level in Indus River at upstream Sukkur dropped to 1,083,000 cusecs level on Friday as compared to 1,097,990 cusecs on Thursday while the downstream flow also decreased to 1,093,000 cusecs against 1,072,080 cusecs a day earlier. At upstream & downstream Guddu barrage the water level dropped to 9,76000 cusecs as compared to 9,97000 cusecs on Thursday, according to the irrigation officials.
The irrigation officials said danger had not gone away, another massive flood of up to 1.05 million cusecs may hit the Guddu and Sukkur barrages this weekend, At Sukkur it might attain an exceptionally high flood level of 900,000 to 1.050 million cusecs on 14th and 15th August. Hill torrents may add to the flow in case of heavy rainfall. In many districts of Sindh there may be another flood. .
Due to this rise in river flow, many villages along the right and left protected embankments have totally become submerged and most of the inhabitants have been evacuated from their homes and shifted to the relief camps. Many have lost family members and belongings. Condition became worst when the right embankment at Tori and Ghouspur couldn’t sustain the water pressure and breached at these two points.
Pakistan Army and Navy teams undertook large scale evacuation in Kashmore, Ghotki, Pano Akil, Sukkur and adjoining areas. WWF - Pakistan’s project boat is also being used in evacuation of the people from the affected areas (Chak, Ketiabad ansd Shah Bello). Looting started in Ghouspur as soon as the people were evacuated.
Meanwhile, cracks have been appearing in a levee built along (right embankment) River Indus in Sukkur. The levee wall and barrage areas are sealed for traffic and pedestrians.
The protected wall of Rohri embankment has cracked. 1.5 feet river water has entered the shrine of Saint Hajna Shah. Meanwhile the right embankment at the Sukkur thermal power plant and the embankment of Qureshi Goth (Old Sukkur) are in a critical position at this point: N 27° 43 13.7 E 68° 52 03.7. The Irrigation Department and local people are trying to strengthen the embankment. If a breach occurs at this point, it will devastate Qureshi Goth, Old Sukkur, Sukkur City and the adjoining areas.
Thousands of affected people have received refuge at Sukkur, Khairpur and other districts of the province. Local government and other welfare organisations are providing food and other necessary goods for their survival. The fishing community of Bundar has been affected badly from this flood. The flood water inundated their homes and forced them to shift to a relief camp. WWF - Pakistan’s project (IRDCP) team visited the two fisher communities’ relief camps, first one at Government Tamir-e-Nau High School where 2500 fishermen, women and children have received refuge and second one at Government Double Section High school where about 1500 fishermen, women and children are living.
The Indus River water has swept away the protective wall of the historical Hindu temple Sadh Belo. This temple, as well as the shrine of Khawaja Khizar Pir are now under water.
From Zahid Jalbai, WWF – Pakistan Thatta office
WWF is facilitating several NGOs in forming a network and developing an action plan for flood relief activities in the district. The water discharge at downstream Kotri is currently 184,000 cusecs.
From Muhammad Abu Baker, WWF – Pakistan Rahim Yar Khan office
A continuous and heavy rain has raised a big problem for cotton growers in district Rahim Yar Khan. Average rainfall recorded has been 45 mm to 50 mm per day. There is water lying three to four inches deep in every cotton field. Farmers try to pump it into the neighbouring sugarcane or rice fields, but the next day it starts all over again.
From this continuous rain, we have observed that fungal diseases on the cotton crop have increased, as have sucking pest attacks. The crop has already been damaged, and there will be a bad decrease in cotton production this year.
From Richard Garstang, the Pakistan Wetlands Programme office
The recent monsoon rains and concomitant flooding in Pakistan have impacted each of the Pakistan Wetlands Programme’s (PWP) demonstration sites to some extent. Conditions have, however, been particularly harsh in the northern part of the Central Indus Wetland Complex, in the vicinity of Taunsa Barrage and Kot Addu.
PWP has been interacting closely with eleven impoverished Island and riverbank wetlands dependent communities in the vicinity of the barrage for the past three years. As the flood waters in the main stem of the Indus began to peak on the night of August 1st, 2010, it became clear that a life-threatening situation was developing quite rapidly. Military and other government personnel were present but thinly spread and not everyone in need could be reached.
In these circumstances, PWP’s Central Indus Wetlands Team, now based near Kot Addu, mobilised PWP and local resources into a proto-team equipped with eight motorised boats to rescue 1,387 stranded people from riverbank and island villages. To achieve this, they leaned heavily on the Programme’s good working relationship with Wetlands Conservation Committees and made extensive use of village elders to persuade community members to leave their properties in the face of the flood, and seek safety.
Once the community members were secure, the PWP team, led by Site Manager Zafar Ali, turned its attention to the provision of critically needed medicines. A total of approximately 15,000 doses of anti-malarial and anti-histamine drugs were delivered to the five temporary medical centres that had been set up with support of the Punjab Department of Health and a local NGO, Saiban Welfare Foundation.
The team then turned its attention to the provision of fodder to stranded livestock on the islands - an initiative that will continue until the situation stabilises and the villagers are able to return in safety to what is left of their homes.
From Imran Malik, WWF – Pakistan Sukkur office:
We have just done patrolling along the left bank of Indus River from Sukkur to Ali Wahan. The level of water is increasing rapidly and the water touched the last protective embankment at Ali Whan. The agricultural fields and date palm farms (which are about two to three kms from the main river embankment) are under water. The embankment at Ali Wahan is weak at the points N 27° 41 15.5 E 68° 558 00.0 and at N 27° 41 08.06 E 68° 56 15.0. Rangers, Pak Navy and Pak Army have been deployed there for handling any emergency situation. If the embankment at either of these points, Rohri, Saleh pat, Lower part of the Khairpur and Sukkur will be affected badly (specially cotton, sugarcane crops). According to the water flow data received at 2:30 pm from barrage division Sukkur, the flow of water at Guddu upstream and downstream is 7,77,000 cusecs respectively. At Sukkur Barrage it is 3,41,000 upstream and 3,32,000 cusecs downstream.
During this excursion a dolphin was sighted near the thermal power plant at old Sukkur. At this point the water flow is low and depth about 13 to 15 feet.
From Umar Waqas, WWF – Pakistan Jiwani office:
I am grieved to share with you that District Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan are facing a huge disaster right now. Flood has entered the towns leaving people homeless, helpless and stranded on different roads with no shelter, no food and no support available. There is an increasing crowd all around on roads and high grounds. My hometown is now surrounded by this flood. A warning to evacuate this area has also been issued from local masjids. But people have nowhere to go. Flood waters have entered Jampur city and parts of Muhammadpur, Fazilpur and Rajanpur. The main road that links these towns is covered by water. This area has been under continuous rain for the last 2-3 days. We all need your prayers.