VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
"Desperate" situation in flood-ravaged Pakistan
August 5, 2010 by Kate Sands Adams
|These photos from the IRC team in Pakistan show flood damage in Mingora, the capital of Swat district. Swat is one of the areas hit hardest by recent monsoon rains and flash flooding.|
The International Rescue Committee is on the ground providing aid to victims of the worst flooding in Pakistan’s modern history. At least 1,400 people have been killed and three million people have been affected by the devastating monsoon rains. My IRC colleagues in Pakistan shared these photos of the destruction in Mingala, the capital of the hard-hit Swat district:
“Our greatest concern right now is that people’s supplies of drinking water have been contaminated by the flood waters,” says the IRC’s Pakistan director, Tammy Hasselfeldt. “Reports of diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems are rapidly increasing.”
In response, we are planning to launch a major aid effort to clean contaminated wells and repair broken water systems, targeting the worst affected areas: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Noweshera, Charsadda, Swat and Dir.
IRC teams have visited some 200 villages in Swat district and estimate that nearly 200,000 people remain trapped by broken roads and bridges and are awaiting assistance.
“The situation is desperate,” Tammy says. “It will take a very long time and increased support from the outside world to help people recover from this catastrophe.”