Pakistan

Pakistan floods: Situation Report No. 4

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Situation Report
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Situation
In Upper Punjab, NWFP and Northern Areas, the floodwater has been receding and the concerned government departments and civil society organizations are putting relief and rehabilitation efforts together in affected areas. However, due to rise in temperature, water level in Kabul and Swat rivers has started rising again on July 11. In Southern Punjab, River Chenab is in high flood at Punjnad Headworks and has inundated low-lying areas and villages. In Sindh province, the Indus River is in high flood with a rising tendency at Guddu and in medium-to-high floods at Sukkur. Keeping in view the forecast of more rains during the next few days, the situation may get worse again in Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Northern Areas. Continuing rains in the eastern belt and forecast of rains during the next few days is likely to cause a further rise in the river levels.

According to the latest report of the Flood Forecasting Division, water level at the Tarbela Dam was recorded at 1,524.75 feet, about 25 feet below the maximum conservation level. Likewise, water level at Mangla Dam is 1,196.6 feet which is less than 10 feet below the maximum conservation level. The rapid rise in the level of these two dams would leave the authorities with no option except to release more water in the Indus and Jehlum Rivers in the coming few days.

Punjab

According to official information issued by the Punjab Relief Department, a total of 797 villages in 11 districts of Punjab have been affected by recent floods, damaging 18,998 houses besides causing loss to standing crops over 207,827 acres of land. Similarly, 435,805 acres of land and 347,755 persons have been affected in districts of Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Bhakkar, Sialkot, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin and Sargodha.

About 90 villages and thousands of acres of agricultural land have been inundated in several parts of Sialkot and Gujranwala districts by the high floods in Chenab and Tavi rivers. This has caused heavy damage to seasonal crops with reports of animals being swept away while many mud houses have collapsed. The latest reports as of July 12, 2005 show that the water level in River Tavi and River Chenab up to Trimmu was continuously receding.

A tragic incident occurred in the Rojhan Mazari area of Rajanpur on July 11, which claimed lives of 14 flood affected people who were being rescued in a private boat. According to media reports, 34 people were on the boat to get out of the flood-hit village of Khanpur in a kutcha area along the river Indus. The boat hit an 11kv pole and touched the live cable.

Additionally, 3 people have lost their lives in some villages of Bajwat and Sambrial of Sialkot district. There are reports of injuries to several children and women due to cases of house collapse. Nearly 85 border-area villages in Bajwat remained cut-off for the eighth consecutive day due to the removal of a wooden bridge over Tavi River by the local administration. Another 62 villages in Sialkot and Narowal districts were inundated by the overflowing Dek drain.

In the Wazirabad area of Gujranwala district, high floods in the Chenab have affected more than 30,000 people of 100 villages. Large number of mud houses and standing crops on a vast area has also been washed away. In Mandi Bahauddin district, over half a dozen villages in Qadirabad were inundated.

In Layyah and Dera Ghazi Khan districts, around 240,000 residents of 89 villages were displaced due to high floodwaters in the Indus River.

A 20 feet wide breach occurred in a protective bund near Rojhan, which increased to 70 feet and the water has been flowing over the railway track between DG Khan and Kashmore railway sections and moving towards the Indus Highway.

More than 1,000 people were moved to safe places by the Army in kacha areas of tehsil Liaquatpur of district Rahimyar Khan in the downstream of Punjnad Headworks.

Sindh

At the Jacobabad-Badani area in Sukkur, 23 villages have been inundated. The flood passed through the Guddu Barrage on Saturday swamped 80 percent of the Kutcha area between Guddu and Pano Aqil including over 100 villages and farmlands. Some 20 percent residents of the affected areas have been shifted to safe places. The revenue authorities have asked people of 11 villages near the Badani bund to vacate their homes and shift to safe places.

The situation of bunds has largely been deteriorating and several villages are exposed to a potential threat of flooding. The KK bund has suffered a 60-feet erosion and hundred of trucks of stone were being pitched to fortify the bund. The Tori Bungalow, Mkhwani bund, Tori cross, Ghoraghat bund and others near Kandhkot are also under threat. Likewise, the Akil Agani near Larkana, and FM bund near Naushahro Feroze were under threat and villagers have been asked to shift to safe places. Additionally, People residing near Sakrand and Qazi Ahmed have been asked to move out because of the rising pressure on the bund.

One of the channels supplying water to the Guddu thermal power station has overflowed and entered 17 villages. Apart from 20 villages of district Khairpur, 11 villages near Guddu have been affected by the floods as a result of a breach in Thermal Shakh.

Two minor boys have been killed when floodwaters hit their village in the katcha area of district Ghotki.

NWFP:

On July 10, eight houses were washed away by heavy flood caused by melting of snow at Briep village, some 130 kilometeres from Chitral city.

The latest reports indicate that water level in Kabul and Swat rivers has started surging again inundating one more village in district Charsadda while two minor girls were killed in Kalakhel Masti Khan in Bannu district when a wall fell over them due to heavy rains. Another village -- Rabat -- also came under floodwater displacing several more families.

The rising water in Chitral River has washed away large number of houses, shops and standing crops in Garam Chashma and Mastooj areas of the district. It has also damaged Garam Chashma-Mastooj Road disrupting all kinds of traffic on it.

According to the Flood Forecasting Division, River Kabul at Nowshera is in high flood with a discharge of 145,000 cusecs and water level was rising further. River Swat at Munda was in very high flood with a discharge of 58,000 cusecs and at Amandara in medium flood with a flow of 34,884 cusecs. River Shah Alam has again crossed the limit of extreme flood where water discharge was recorded at 15,200 cusecs.

According to the details provided by UNHCR, in the 7 Afghan Refugee camps, approximately 750 houses have been damaged completely and 1,164 partially. The estimated cost of construction of each house is about Rs.10,000 while the reconstruction of a fully damaged house would cost Rs.30,000 to 40,000.

Needs:

According to the Joint Assessment carried out by the UN Agencies in cooperation with National and International NGOs operating in the affected areas of NWFP, the needs of the affectees are as follows:

- Immediate food support for one-month for a total of 39,360 persons (27,090 local and 12,270 Afghan Refugees) / 6,969 families (4,515 local and 2,545 Afghan Refugees) in NWFP. Food support would also be needed for a similar period for the 5,000 affectees in the Northern Areas.

- Feeding and de-worming of 289,671 animal heads affected by the floods. The cost of feed is estimated at Rs. 65 per animal per day and de-worming at Rs. 160 per animal. The feed support would vary from 15 days to a month depending upon the situation of recovery from flood in different areas.

- Unmet shelter needs (250 tents) in the affected regions of Northern Areas and Chitral.

National Response:

The Punjab Chief Minister has announced the flood-affected villages as calamity hit and declared them exempt from agricultural taxes. He has also announced a grant of Rs.27.5 million for the flood stricken areas of Layyah and Taunsa Sharif.

Similarly, he has announced a special grant of Rs.10 million for providing compensation to the affectees in Sialkot district. A sum of Rs.25,000 would be given to completely damaged and Rs.10,000 to partially affected houses in the district. The Chief Minister has declared 50 villages as calamity hit areas and exempted them from agricultural income tax, local rate and water rate.

The Punjab Government has released Rs.5.4 million for provision of assistance to flood victims and set up 81 camps for the survivors across the province.

The Punjab Relief Department has provided 8,332 life jackets, 5,220 tents, 7,400 blankets, 65 de-watering pumps and 816 boats to the concerned departments for relief support and early rehabilitation of flood victims in Punjab. The army has established 37 relief camps in Chiniot, and Trimmu areas.

In Gujranwala district, the Livestock department has set up 10 relief centers for the provision of medicines to cattle in flood-affected areas. The district administration has also established an emergency cell and two mobile teams at Kamoki and Wazirabad tehsils.

The provincial government of NWFP has requested the international donor community and UN agencies for assistance in emergency relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.

International Response

The International Rescue Committee, Pakistan would distribute USAID funded 2,000 food baskets and 60 thousand sandbags to the affectees of Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera districts from 13 to 20 July, 2005. Islamic Relief has planned to provide animal feed for 1,000 large animals of the most vulnerable families of district Charsadda and Peshawar.