Pakistan floods: Situation Report No. 1
1. Major rivers in NWFP and the Northern Areas of Pakistan have been in high flood since last week due to heavy snowfall during winter and unprecedented high temperatures prevailing in the region for the last two weeks. The situation is likely to worsen during the next few days as the water level in the rivers is continuously rising that are already in very high floods.
2. In NWFP, the worst affected districts are Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera where vast areas along Kabul River and its tributaries have been inundated. The floods have affected almost 52 villages in 25 Union Councils resulting in the displacement of more than 15,700 persons. The exact number of houses damaged or destroyed has not yet been confirmed but unofficial sources put the figure between 2,500 and 3,000 houses.
3. No loss of life has been reported so far. However, almost 5,500 of acres of standing crops including maize, fodder, vegetables and sugarcane are completely destroyed. A large number of fruit trees have been uprooted and washed away increasing vulnerability of small landholders and livestock owners. The floods have also damaged water infrastructure and drinking water sources in the most affected areas.
4. Pakistan Army is assisting the Civil Authorities in evacuating the marooned people. Majority of the people rendered homeless have taken refuge with their relatives in the nearby villages.
5. The floods have also affected five afghan refugee camps in the three districts affecting almost 1,170 families out of which 250 have been rendered homeless and are living under the open sky.
6. Some valleys along the Swat River have also been flooded damaging crops and houses forcing people in the affected region to move to safer areas.
7. Water level in the Chitral River is reported to be at the highest since 1978 and is causing damage to the road network and houses in the close vicinity. Flooding has been reported in the Garam Chashma area. The bridge between Chitral and Gulmit has been washed away cutting off access to the area. Damages have also been reported from the Kalash Valley.
8. Damages to land and property have also been reported from the Northern Areas where low lying areas in Ghizer, Ghanche and Gilgit have been affected. Traffic between Ghizer and Gilgit has been suspended due to damage to a bridge. Many suspension bridges have been damaged in different areas. Gilgit-Shandoor road has also been reported cut off for the last three days.
9. Based on increased inflow of water in he main reservoirs of Tarbela and Mangla, water discharge has been started from both facilities. The flow from Tarbela combined with the floodwaters from Kabul and Swat Rivers is a potential danger for areas in Dera Ismail Khan. Civil Administration has been directed to make preparations and chalk out a plan for evacuating people from low lying areas of the district.
10. The Provincial Government has allocated a sum of Rs. 110 Million for provision of relief support to the affectees in the three districts. The Provincial Government has also distributed 1,470 food packs and 567 tents to the affectees in the three districts.
11. The Prime Minister of Pakistan visited the affected areas and announced a grant of Rs. 100 million in support of the affected areas of the province. The Federal Government has also provided 100 tents, 200 blankets, seven cartons of medicines and 600 food packs to the affected areas.
12. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has allocated a sum of Rs. 4 million for the affected areas of NWFP and Rs. 1 Million for the affectees in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. A consignment of 100 tents, 400 blankets, 100 sheets, 100 water containers, 10,000 water purification tablets, 10 bales of clothes and 600 food packs has also been dispatched today to NWFP for distribution in the affected districts. NWFP Branch of PRCS has also provided 450 food packs to the affectees in the province.
13. The UN Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for NWFP with membership from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, UNHCR and NGOs working in the area has undertaken a Rapid Needs Assessment of the situation in the affected areas. The Committee is also in contact with the provincial and local authorities concerned to obtain up-to-date information on the situation.
14. The UN Disaster Management Team met on 29 June, 2005 to discuss the flood situation in NWFP and the Northern Areas. Sub-Groups have been formed to assess the specific needs address issues of immediate concern in Food, Water and Sanitation, Health, Shelter and Livestock & Agriculture. The sub-croups would submit their reports and present findings in the next UNDMT Meeting scheduled on 7 July, 2005. WHO has been requested to send health kits in its stock to the three most affected districts.
15. UNICEF has dispatched a relief package comprising 3,000 kgs of blended food, 1,667 tarpaulin sheets, 30,000 Aqua Tabs, 1,000 Jerry Cans (10 Litres), 2,000 plastic buckets and 6,000 bars of soap. The total value of this consignment is US$ 22,575.
16. OXFAM-GB has rushed 10,000 empty sandbags to the affected areas of NWFP for protection works. Likewise, UNDP has also rushed 10,000 empty sandbags to the affected areas of NWFP for protection works.
17. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide a grant of US$ 50,000 to the International Rescue Committee for provision of food for 2,000 families in the affected areas as well as 60,000 sand bags to help local authorities cope with the situation.
The Government of Pakistan has not made appeal for international assistance at this stage. However, the Government has shown inclination to welcome help from bilateral and multilateral partners including UN.