Pakistan

Services of HANDS in flood affected areas of Sindh

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The recent flood in Sindh due to rains started in the last week of August, the severely hit districts Badin, MirpurKhas, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Sanghar, UmerKot, Nawab Shah and Jamshoro in Lower Sindh, Southern and Northern Sindh. Rain multiplied with the poor system of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) has created havocs in the life of poor communities living in these water locked areas. To date, the Government of Pakistan reports that more than 5.5 million people have been affected, 226 people have lost their lives and more than 900 people have been injured, with 1.3 million houses damaged or destroyed and over 4.2 million acres of land flooded with more than 1.59 million acres of crops destroyed.

Most of the communities living in these areas are dependent on agriculture but 367,710 acres of cultivated land is destroyed. All the cash crops like cotton, sugarcane, chilli and tomato are perished, creating greater food security risk. More than 8000 cattle heads are perished in Badin and TMK until now and it is expected that this number can increase significantly due to non availability of fodder and increased diseases. Most of the people interviewed have told that almost 40 to 50% of their livestock has already died. There are also many poultry farms in the area which are a big source of livelihood for poor communities. However most of these are inundated in water. Most of the population is forced to live on the road sides due to the destruction caused by heavy rains and floods. The stagnant water is now becoming a great risk for the health of women, children and elderly people. Diseases like Diarrhea, Malaria, scabies, and cholera are becoming common. Skin diseases in children and women are also increasing. Although we did not find many confirmed cases of hepatitis but the general observation from water quality and the eye colour of most of the people gives strong indication that there is high possibility of its presence. Poor communities living in rural areas are generally used to go for open defecation in open fields as they do not have household toilets but due to flood water standing in the fields, the hygiene conditions are becoming miserable. But in that situation HANDS has not left its poor community because HANDS ever claim that HANDS is the community based organisation. Similarly Providing Food, safe drinking water, shelter, NFI, hygiene kit and medical services to affected people of affected districts of the southern part of Sindh. And in all affected district tent cities have been established by HANDS in which all basic facilities being provided to rain/ flood affected people.