At the end of March, JEN team visited Muzaffargarh, a district in southern Punjab to carry out post distribution monitoring. JEN had implemented an emergency non-food items distribution project there for flood affected people in December, 2014. It was satisfactory to note that project beneficiaries were utilizing non-food items provided by JEN.
The positive aspect of the target area was that wheat crop was ready for cultivation. The beneficiaries were happy and they were hoping to fully produce the wheat crop as it provides bread to them until next season. They had sowed it last year in very difficult conditions when floods severely damaged their houses and standing crop of paddy. The beneficiaries were enjoying the spring weather and they were playing some local games with zeal such as “Bull Race”.
JEN team however noted some negative aspects of the beneficiaries’ lives. The most significant was their low progress in terms of early recovery in houses reconstruction and the looming risk of another flood due to heavy late winter rains. Pakistan stands in the list of countries which are being/will be affected mostly by Climate Change. The beneficiaries were still reconstructing their houses mostly by their own resources and their progress was considerably slow.
The history of floods in Pakistan in recent years is very scary where floods continuously damaged human lives, livestock, standing crops, infrastructure and public properties in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
It is now time for the government and humanitarian community to think out of the box and just not respond to the crisis but rather design a longer term development plans in Disaster Management. It will help reduce the risks of people being affected by floods every year and will ensure an active anticipated humanitarian response.