The 2011 Monsoon Floods in Pakistan
In August 2011, several districts in Sindh province were inundated with floodwaters as a consequence of record levels of rainfall. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported colossal damages in 22 out of 23 districts of the province.
This followed mega floods of 2010 from which millions of Pakistanis had still not recovered.
In 2011, over 5.3 million people were affected, and over 220 lost their lives, 1.1 million homes were damaged and 1,600 schools were being used as relief camps. The national and provincial governments declared a state of emergency and appealed for a humanitarian response in the region.
Rains completely destroyed standing crops in lower Sindh. Damages to crops, especially cotton, rice and sugarcane ruined the local economy and increased food shortages. According to the Sindh agriculture department, rains washed away over 1 million acres of cotton crop in the thirteen rain affected districts of lower Sindh known as the “cotton belt”.
Nearly 90,000 livestock were killed and 5 million surviving livestock were without shelter, and at heightened risk of disease and parasite infestation. The livestock, which often represent a family’s entire life savings, could not feed due to flooded pastures and damaged fodder stocks.
For many communities, this compounded losses from the 2010 floods, which receded too late in many areas of Sindh to allow for Rabi (winter) wheat planting. Drinking water sources were damaged and in many cases have still not been repaired.