By Farooq Tariq, published on Socialist Action, August 31, 2022
Summary on Pakistan’s flood situation
Incessant monsoon rains and flash floods have devastated Pakistan, affecting millions of people and incurring huge economic losses.
The scale of devastation
According to the official figure of National Disaster Management Authority, floods have so far claimed the lives of 1350 people. 1 million houses are totally or partially damaged leaving behind millions in need of urgent shelter. More than 50 million people are displaced from their homes.
According to Sindh government report, more than 10 million (1 crore) people are homeless only in Sindh province. Livelihoods are also being heavily impacted – more than 1 million livestock – a critical source of sustenance and livelihoods for many families – have died, of which some 63 percent are in Balochistan and 25 percent in Punjab. Around 4 million acres of crops and orchards have also been impacted, including at least 304,475 acres in Balochistan, 438,274 acres in Punjab, 35,565 acres in KPK and 2.5 million acres in Sind Damage to infrastructure has further worsened the humanitarian situation, as the partial or complete destruction of over 3,000 km of roads and 220 plus bridges impedes the ability of people to flee to safer areas or to travel to access markets, healthcare, or other vital services, and restricts the delivery of aid to people in need.
More than 1,000 health facilities are either partially or fully damaged in Sindh province, whereas 198 health facilities are damaged in affected districts in Balochistan. The damage to roads and bridges has also compromised girls’ and women’s access to health facilities. Provisional data from provincial Education Departments show that at least 17,566 schools have been damaged or destroyed due to the emergency: 15,842 schools in Sindh, 544 in Balochistan and 1,180 in Punjab.
Underlying causes of this flood
Pakistan produces less than 1% of global carbon emissions and yet it is one of the countries that bear the worst consequences of the climate crisis. For the past 20 years, it has consistently ranked in the Global Climate Risk Index as among the top ten most vulnerable countries in the world. Pakistan and other South Asian countries are the climate crisis hotspots.
Impact on farms, farmworkers and their rural workers
The most affected are rice and cotton growing areas of Sindh and South Punjab. Almost half of the country’s cotton crop has been washed away. Similarly mango orchards, red chilli farms in Sindh are also under the floods. There is 85% loss in dates. The cotton crop in Saraiki Waseeb area has been hit hard. The standing sugarcane crop has also suffered damage up to 7% due to floods, despite it being a high water-consuming crop, which shows the intensity of the disaster small farmers and peasant communities are facing.
In many areas of KPK, especially in the cities of Swat, Nowshera and Charsadda, maize and rice crops are washed away due to the flash floods. The small farmers, farm workers and peasant communities have lost their lands and animals. Their houses have also been swept away with the flash flood. They are living under the sky without any roof or shelter.
There could be issues on next crop sowing as well. One is land which may take more time to dry. And another is lack of resources facing small farmers as they usually use proceeds from the previous crops to sow the next. They have lost livestock and crops. They are displaced. They need help from the government and others to invest in the next season’s crop. The other issue could be demarcation of land. As with floods, these are required to be done again altogether.
Immediate needs on the ground and relief efforts by PKRC
Millions of Pakistanis affected are in desperate need of aid as authorities say they have been “overwhelmed” by the scale of the disaster, with the country’s climate minister calling it a “serious climate catastrophe”.
To ensure the provision of relief and rehabilitation for flood affectees, the government requires over Rs 72 billion. According to the initial tender assessment report, over Rs7 billion is required in cash relief, while nearly Rs 9 billion is needed to provide non-food items, and nearly Rs2 billion has to be spent on medical expenses.
Saving cattle requires over Rs 9 billion, while buying equipment to speed up the relief process nearly Rs5 billion should be in place. Reconstruction of overall infrastructure and around 82,000 homes requires Rs 41 billion, Independent Urdu reported.
Flood victims need the following ration items immediately:
- Clean drinking water
- Dry fuel such as wood, kerosene oil etc.
- Dry eatables (As cooked food might perish or be only useful one time)
- Dry milk (for children) and boxes of liquid milk Linen sheets instead of blankets and duvets
- Stitched clothes which can be readily worn
- Plastic shoes as stitching of regular shoes is useless amid stagnant flood water
- Sanitary pads (with disposable wrappers) or cloth napkins for female victims
- Raw food items such as rice, flour, and lentils for people stuck in homes due to flooding outside
- Dry ration such as roasted black chana and dates Dry fodder for cattle
PKRC and **Haqooq e Khalq Party are doing Flood relief work since 29th July 2022 and are in contact with affected communities in South Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.
We are sending flood relief items, food rations to those who are in need of immediate assistance. Also have arranged medical camps with volunteer work by young doctors.
We need your immediate support, please send your donations to our sister organization, Crofter Foundation bank account. Crofter Foundation is a registered organization in Pakistan.
Bank name: Silkbank:
Account Title: Crofter Foundation
Address: Silk Bank, Main branch,
Egerton Road, Lahore, Pakistan
If you find any difficulty sending the amount to this account, you can always send through Western Union in the name of Farooq Tariq, general Secretary PKRC
*Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC)
[Financial Appeal by Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC)]*
*(PKRC is a network of 29 small farmers organizations in Pakistan established since 2003) It became a member of La Via Campesina in 2017, the only Pakistani peasant organization that is a member of this international platform. Its secretariat is based in Lahore.
The PKRC was formed in 2003 at a conference with over 5,000 small farmers and peasants in Chishtian, a Southern city in Punjab, to unite the forces among peasants in Pakistan.
The decision to form a national organization of the peasantry was taken after the very successful campaign of peasantry for land rights at Military Farms Okara in 2000-2001. It was felt that a campaign in one district or two cannot be successful in the long term. The land rights and food sovereignty campaigns have spread across Pakistan through peasant movements.
The PKRC has emerged as the largest small farmers platform in Pakistan. It has organized numerous activities for land rights and for introduction of food sovereignty concept.
** Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement is a progressive movement for democracy in Pakistan and a Pakistan-wide campaign for the enforcement of the fundamental rights in our constitution through grassroots organizing, momentum and pressure.
The Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement (HKM) is an organized effort at addressing Pakistan’s hollow democracy. As a tradition of procedural democracy and consistent elections begins to cement itself within our political landscape, we at HKM seek to invigorate that landscape with a more substantive democracy—one that addresses the needs and concerns of a majority of Pakistanis, not just the political one-percent.