Families in flood ravaged Pakistan face a tough winter ahead
A young girl and her brother return home to their destroyed village in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Photo: Selena Marr/The IRC
Three months after devastating floods tore through Pakistan, the country is still struggling to recover. So far a staggering 20 million people have been affected by the flooding, including over 8 million who have lost their homes. More than one million people remain in temporary camps in Sindh and Baluchistan provinces where large tracts of land are still under three to four feet of water.
Elsewhere, flood waters have receded and many people have managed to return to their villages. However, they are finding their houses destroyed, water pumps and wells damaged, cattle dead and crops washed away. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is helping people affected by the flooding in three of the hardest hit provinces: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, IRC teams are delivering clean water and repairing water systems, restoring sanitation facilities and rehabilitating schools, and helping farmers get back on their feet. Meanwhile, with winter fast approaching, the IRC is racing to help families prepare by supplying blankets, bedding and other household items. These supplies are especially crucial in the north of the province, where many villages may soon be cut off from the outside world by heavy snowfall.
"The immense scale of the disaster continues to pose enormous challenges,” said John Keys, IRC vice president of international programs, during a recent visit to Nowshera district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “People are still living in tents or inadequate shelters. Health clinics and schools have been destroyed. The upcoming harvest has been ruined. There are urgent needs everywhere and long, hard work ahead of us.”
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