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Flooding in Pakistan

Flooding in Pakistan

RMedicalefugees and displaced persons
Our teams are on the ground in Pakistan, providing emergency medical and humanitarian assistance to people affected by the destructive floods.

THE CURRENT SITUATION 

Millions of people have been affected by the floods in Pakistan, the death toll is rising, and the Government of Pakistan has declared a national emergency. Government officials, humanitarian workers, and volunteers are facing enormous access challenges to reach out to people in need.  

The country has already received nearly three times the 30-year average rainfall in the quarter through August, totaling 390.7mm. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in its report, stated that 1,314 people have died since 14 June, including 262 women and 458 children, while at least 12,703 individuals have been injured since the onset of the rainy season. Nationwide, 80 districts across the country have now been declared ‘calamity hit’-31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, 17 in KPK, six in Gilgit Baltistan and three in Punjab. 

On August 26th, the government of Pakistan declared a state of emergency in response to the flash floods appealing for international aid. 

 

HOW MSF IS RESPONDING IN PAKISTAN

SINDH 

Sindh province, with a population of 50 million, was hardest hit, getting 464% more rain than the 30-year average. The region produces half of the country’s food but 90% of its crops ruined, while entire villages have been swept away. Fears of serious food shortages in the country remain high, roads are damaged, power lines are cut and railways are blocked. All this has worsened the situation. Water levels in Manchar Lake, in southeastern Sindh province, have risen to dangerously high levels. On Sunday 3, officials breached Manchar Lake after it had flooded two rural towns to prevent it from further bursting its banks and inundating more densely populated areas. 
 

We have started running two mobile clinics in the Dadu district of Sindh and have so far provided primary medical care to over 1,500 people mainly with skin diseases, malaria, and diarrhoea. Using boats, our teams are still assessing the medical needs in nearby remote villages that have been cut off by the floodwater. Teams have also been providing over 20,000 litres per day of clean drinking water to people taking shelter at different camps in Dadu district. More water trucks are being arranged to reach the wider population.

In the north of Sindh province, assessments are being done in Sukkur city, and MSF’s water and sanitation teams have already started providing clean drinking water. We have installed water tanks with a capacity of 24,000 litres, which are being refilled on a daily basis. Over 200,000 litres of water have been provided to displaced people taking shelter in Labour Colony flats and Lab-e-Mehran camp in Sukkur district.

BALOCHISTAN

Balochistan province has badly suffered from the eight monsoon spells, which have been overwhelming in magnitude and severity and have left 61,718 houses damaged, 145,936 livestock dead, and about 190 thousand acres of agriculture land badly affected. Hundreds of families in the Naseerabad division have been displaced to safer places. 

Our teams are running two mobile clinics with outpatient consultations in Dera Murad Jamali (DMJ) and Dera Allahyar in districts Naseerabad and Jaffarabad respectively. Most patients are presenting with malaria, fever, skin diseases, diarrhoea, and eye infections. To date, 7,000 people have received medical care. In Chaman, over 450 people have had medical consultations and in Quetta, over 800 outpatient consultations have been provided. Most of these patients have respiratory infections, or acute watery diarrhoea (AWD).

Stagnant water leads to ill health, and the situation is not likely to improve. We are seeing patients with water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, skin diseases and eye infections. The challenges are many and great.

Shahid Abdullah
MSF’s emergency field coordinator in Balochistan

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA (KPK) 

MSF launched three mobile clinics, in Sara sang, Bela and Miaonlay villages in Charsadda district, villages located next to riverbanks. The houses in these villages have been partially or completely destroyed, and villagers are now facing outbreaks of water-borne diseases. In the last week, the medical teams have seen 983 patients with respiratory tract infections, eye infections, acute diarrhoea, severe skin infections and chronic diseases. The teams have distributed non-food items (NFIs), including hygiene and kitchen kits, mosquito nets and insect repellents to over 600 families in the three villages. Water and sanitation needs have been identified and water storage tanks will be installed in the villages so that people can access clean drinking water.

We are soon going to start emergency operations in the Nowshera district after assessments by medical and water and sanitation teams.

MSF’s needs assessment in Punjab

Our emergency response teams have identified high needs when it comes to access to primary healthcare and the provision of safe drinking water in southern Punjab.

Many areas are still flooded and it may take time for water levels to come down. MSF is looking into starting emergency response activities in different locations of Rajanpur, Punjab.

Pakistani health officials have reported waterborne diseases in areas where thousands of people are affected by the disaster. In the aftermath of floods, a rise in diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dengue, malaria, skin and eye infections can be anticipated, along with mental health issues. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced an increased surveillance for acute diarrhea, cholera and other communicable diseases. The waterborne diseases continue to spread, especially in Balochistan, as almost all water resources were badly affected since June 2022. MSF is also monitoring the situation and planning how to intervene as needed.   

 

MSF in Pakistan 

MSF began working in Pakistan in 1986 and today we have 1,791 national staff and 53 international staff working for us in seven regular projects. In Pakistan, MSF had a large-scale response to the 2005 earthquake, the floods of 2010 and 2016, the measles and dengue fever outbreaks in 2010 and 2013, and COVID-19 in 2020-2021, more recently, we responded to flooding in Dadu in 2020. 

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As an independent, impartial medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières can respond rapidly to emergency situations and deliver urgent medical treatment to people in need – no matter who they are.
 
By making a donation, you can help ensure that we can be there to provide medical assistance during times of crisis in places like Pakistan.
 

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