11 September 2014
PWRDF has announced funding for Pakistan Flood Relief through ACT Alliance.
Update from Bishop Leo Paul, Multan Diocese, Anglican Church of Pakistan
Wednesday 10th September 2014
I am writing from Multan Diocese, Church of Pakistan to give you an update on the situation of our country and the miserable conditions that are affecting people in Pakistan. The situation is terrible and the water level is increasing day by day because of heavy rainfall. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (MET) and the Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) are reporting further heavy rainfall and increased flooding – more than the previous Monsoon – which will take place in the coming days.
Multan Diocese is regularly visiting the flood affected areas and informing them how to keep safe in this emergency and how to be prepared for the floods. We are distributing emergency kits and grocery items to the flood affected people. They are also being provided by an emergency relief food package to survive the monsoon rain season, particularly to the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffar Garh & Rajan Pur.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) many people have died, been injured and seen their houses fully or partially damaged across the country. Significant damage has also been reported to the infrastructure and crops in the affected areas. Many food stocks of the people have been destroyed. Already thousands of homeless families are facing hunger, as most people here make their living from agriculture and livestock.
Destruction is wide-spread across our part of the country. Transport and communications have been widely disrupted. Many areas remain inaccessible and thousands have yet to receive assistance. The worst is still to come – medical facilities and doctors are bracing themselves for outbreaks of hepatitis, malaria, typhoid and other water-borne diseases.
There are numerous people who are still stranded. They need an immediate response otherwise the continuous rains and flood will even take away the lives of the current flood survivors. The government is providing some relief assistance, with plans to scale up. However reports from the field are that there are huge gaps in assistance due to the limited resources and capacity of the government departments involved in the response. Vulnerable populations in the remote rural areas and villages are not receiving assistance.
The majority of the affected population are living in spontaneous locations, near their houses and villages on open higher grounds/bunds/roads – under the open skies without shelter. They have limited access to shelter and are at a serious risk of weather related hazards. The affected families could not bring their belongings with them and are sitting empty handed. According to the field reports, shelter/tents distributed by the government are not sufficient to meet the needs of the affected population.
There is a lack of clean drinking water as water sources have been damaged leading to the consumption of unsafe water. The displaced populations don’t have access to latrines. There is also a lack of personal hygiene items among the affected population. This dangerous situation could easily lead to the spread of water borne and other diseases.
Multan Diocese has already sent an emergency team to see how they can best support the affected areas. The Anglican Alliance is working with the local church to develop an appeal, which will be posted on our website. Please continue in prayer for the affected communities and for those reaching out to support people in desperate need.
News on 9th September 2014
Nine northern districts in Bangladesh have been affected by severe flooding that has seen 17 rivers rise above the danger level. Around one million people there have lost their homes, land and livelihoods.
The situation has started to improve in some places with water levels receding in the major rivers in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogra and Sirajganj districts in the Brahmaputra basin since 31 August.
However, severe river erosion in the flood-hit districts has destroyed yet more properties, land and local assets. Erosion and flooding has so far partially or totally damaged 17,074 houses, 308 kilometres of kutcha roads, 45 kilometres of embankments and 11 bridges. Standing crops on 3,429 hectares of land have been submerged under floodwater in four upazilas.
The Church of Bangladesh is monitoring the situation and is in contact with the ACT Alliance and Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) who are working in the region.
In India and Pakistan thousands of people are stranded across the Indian part of Kashmir and parts of northern and eastern Pakistan. Flash floods and landslides have caused more than 300 deaths after six days of heavy rain. So far nearly 9,000 people have been evacuated and communities are preparing for worsening conditions.
Please keep affected communities and those responding to the disaster in your prayers.