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Rapid Need Assessment Report: Monsoon Rains Thatta, Sujawal and Hyderabad, 24th – 27th August 2020

Originally published



1.1. Background

The province of Sindh is situated in a subtropical region; it is hot in the summer and cold in winter. Temperatures frequently rise above 46 °C (115 °F) between May and August. Sindh lies between the two monsoons — the southwest monsoon from the Indian Ocean and the northeast or retreating monsoon, deflected towards it by the Himalayan mountains — and escapes the influence of both. The average rainfall in Sindh is 8–9 in (20–23 cm) per year. The region's scarcity of rainfall is compensated by the inundation of the Indus twice a year, caused by the spring and summer melting of Himalayan snow and by rainfall in the monsoon season. These natural patterns have recently changed somewhat with the construction of dams and barrages on the Indus River.

Parts of southeastern Sindh receive rainfall of up to 36 in (91 cm) and some districts or cities have received very heavy rainfall on occasions. Sindh is divided into three climatic regions: Siro (the upper region, centred on Jacobabad), Wicholo (the middle region, centred on Hyderabad), and Lar (the lower region, centred on Karachi). Mostly the middle and lower region received rains, and coastal districts (Badin, Sujawal, Thatta and Karachi) also affected by occasional cyclones.

Over the last 10 years, Sindh is vulnerable to almost all adverse climate change impacts including erratic pattern of rainfall that causes more intense monsoons, longer drier seasons resulting in drought and heat wave spells.

As per Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), this year in August heavy rainfall spells happened that are 70% above normal rainfall during monsoons season in Sindh. Several districts have been moderate to severely affected. The districts affected are Dadu, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Hyderabad, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar and Karachi division.

Current spell of heavy monsoon rains started on August 21, 2020 in some districts and continued till the date of assessment on August 27, 2020 in few districts The torrential rains created havoc over a large span of geographies and impacted large number of population in all three districts. The major hurdle was access to the affected areas due to rainwater gushing over the link roads to the rural communities and stagnant water in most of the areas in and around the settlements. The district government officials have initiated early rescue and relief in most of the areas. They supported HANDS teams and other CSOs for the assistance to the communities. They provided many updated information about the affected areas and current situation. It is large scale calamity. As it is realized by the Provincial Government of Sindh and it has declared 20 districts in Sindh as “Calamity Affected Areas”, in 4 division including Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad.

The magnitude of devastation and expected duration of sufferings may not be fathomed through such RNA or met by rapid response only. Considering, the people’s lives and livelihoods had been affected for the long-term and given the disaster vulnerability of those population, lasting impact of such floods, lack of resilience and inadequate funding for the huge number of affected population, detailed assessment for longer term projects are essential.