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27 more dead as floods, waterborne diseases wreak havoc in Pakistan

Flood victims sit under the shadow of a cot on a roadside, Jaffarabad, Pakistan, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo)Ns News Online Desk

Ns News Online Desk: Another 27 people have died, including 12 from an outbreak of waterborne diseases, as floods continue to wreak havoc in Pakistan. Local authorities and local media reported Tuesday that at least 15 people died as houses collapsed in different areas of southern Sindh province.

The latest deaths bring the total number of casualties to 1,559 with 12,850 wounded since mid-June, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Another 12 people lost their lives in Dadu and Kandhkot-Kashmore districts due to gastroenteritis and malaria, local daily Dawn reported.

National and international organizations have already warned that waterborne diseases may kill more people than floods as a large part of the land in the southern part of the country is still under water.

“All of us on the ground see malnourished children, battling diarrhea and malaria, dengue fever, and many with painful skin conditions,” said Abdullah Fadil, a UNICEF representative in Pakistan, in a statement last week after visiting the flood-hit areas.”A lot of mothers are anemic and malnourished themselves and have very low-weight babies. Mothers are exhausted or ill and are unable to breastfeed,” he added.

According to UNICEF, around 16 million children have been impacted by the flood and at least 3.4 million children need immediate lifesaving support.

The destructive floods affected millions of people in 81 districts across the country and thousands of them are living in tents as nearly 2 million houses were damaged by the floods.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said late Monday that the flood disaster has adversely affected millions of children, with over 500 dead.

“Global conversation on Pakistan’s flood devastation should focus on the plight of children. The disaster has adversely affected millions of children with over 500 dead. Let these children not be an arithmetic but a clarion call for swift action to rebuild their lives & future,” Sharif tweeted.

Monsoon season in Pakistan, like in other countries in the region, usually results in heavy rains, but this year has been the wettest since 1961.

Currently, one-third of the country is under water as the massive rains and melting glaciers have caused the country’s main Indus River to overflow, inundating vast swaths of plains and farms.

Destructive rains and floods have also washed away 12,716 kilometers (7,901 miles) of roads, 374 bridges and buildings across the South Asian nuclear country, which is already grappling with political and economic turmoil.

Over 33 million of the country’s approximately 220 million population have been affected by the raging floods, causing a staggering loss of over $30 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.

Almost 45% of the country’s cropland has already been inundated by the floods, posing a serious threat to food security and further adding to the already skyrocketing inflation.

So far, Pakistan has received 114 flights of humanitarian aid from Türkiye, the UAE, China, the U.S., the U.K., Uzbekistan, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Nepal, Turkmenistan, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Program.


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