The Pakistan Monsoon rains in late July 2010 were described as the worst in the last 80 years. Heavy rains over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan regions of Pakistan flooded the Indus River basin.
Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater, approximately 796,095 square kilometers (307,374 sq miles). According to Pakistani government data the floods directly affected about 18 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of just under 2,000.
The Pakistani economy was harmed by extensive damage to infrastructure and crops. Damage to structures was estimated to exceed £2 billion, and wheat crop damages were estimated to be over £360 million. Total economic impact is considered to have been as much as £30 billion.
Pakistan Floods – Facts and Figures
The below facts and figures were extracted from the dec.org.uk website and serve to give a high level overview of the Pakistan Floods disaster.
Pakistan before the floods:
- Pakistan is 125th of 169 countries in the Human Development Index
- 22% of people live in extreme poverty, they survive on less than $1.25 (US) per day
- 23% of people are undernourished
- 25th highest infant mortality rate in the world
The impact of the floods:
- Unprecedented monsoon rains caused flooding of the Indus river, starting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, spreading South through Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.
- At its worst the flood waters covered roughly one-fifth of Pakistan’s land area
- 18 million people were affected
- Approximately 2,000 people killed
- 12 million people’s homes were damaged or destroyed
- 2.2 million hectares of crops were destroyed
- 10,000 schools damaged or destroyed
- 450,000 livestock lost
- Pakistan is 145th of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (2011)
Location of Relief Efforts
Mohiuddin Trust concentrated relief efforts in the most worst hit areas – which according to the co-ordination teams on ground were identifed as regions in and around Muzaffargarh, Kot Addu and Layyah.
Muzaffargarh is located at 30°12′0’N 71°25’0’E with an altitude of 122m and spreads over an area of 8,435 square kilometers, it forms a strip between the river Chenab on its east and Indus river on its West. Muzaffargarh is one of the oldest districts of Punjab. The city is famous for sweet mangoes and nuts. Wheat, Cotton and Sugarcane are major crops of this area.
The area around the city is a flat, alluvial plain and is ideal for agriculture, with many citrus and mango farms. There are many canals that cut across the Muzaffargarh District, providing water from nearby farms. This makes the land very fertile however land usually close to the Chenab is often flooded in the monsoon season.
Muzaffargarh features an arid climate with very hot summers and mild winters. The city witnesses some of the most extreme weather in the country. The highest recorded temperature is approximately 54 °C (129 °F), and the lowest recorded temperature is approximately −1 °C (30 °F).
Kot Addu is located at 30°28’34N 70°57’52E with an altitude of 134m and covers an area of 8,77,989 acres.
Kot Adu is an important agricultural area, the main crops of the area include corn, cotton, rice, sugarcane, tobacco and wheat. Besides these, bajra, moong, mash, masoor and oil seed such as mustard and sun flower are also grown in the district.
Fruits such as mango, citrus, guavas and pomegranates are mainly grown in the Kot Addu city. Dates, jaman, pears, falsa and bananas are also grown in minor quantities in the district.
Due to the floodings, the crops are now rare, especially cotton and wheat – the most heavily affected by the flooding. Majority of the agriculture lands are now covered by sugarcane.
Layyah is located at 30°58’0N 70°56’0E with an altitude of 143 metres and an extremely hot climate. Maximum temperature in the summer goes up to 53 degree Celsius. The temperature in winter is low due to the area’s nearness to Koh-Suleman range of mountains. Layyah is comparatively more developed agriculturally with respect to other neighboring districts, but still has large swathes of uncultivated land. The Indus River passes from north to south on the western side of the district. The main crops include cotton, wheat, sugarcane and oilseed.
Mohiuddin Trust Activities
Mohiuddin Trust embarked on emergency relief activities to begin with by distributing urgently needed food supplies, blankets, tents and gas canisters.
Mobile medical clinics were setup in concentrated areas to prescribe medical attention to the sick, of which the numbers swelled to thousands. Whilst there were many volunteers, many from the Mohiuddin Medical College, assisting in this task additional help had to be recruited to cope with the crowds.
As the flood waters endured the co-ordination teams resigned to clearing away the remaining water, debris, carcases of livestock and other obstacles from the ruined remains of homes, shops and mosques. With the sheer size of the devastation the teams on the ground found their work cut out.
Realising the extent of the long-term damage the Board of Trustees proposed to build new houses for the flood victims, a significant number of which were now homeless and sheltered in temporary tents and makeshift shacks. Acknowledging the magnitude of this disaster it was agreed to make provisions for some 200 houses complete with sanitation and running water.
The lingering unpredictability of the weather delayed this task and further hampered by subsequent flooding at the start of 2011. The Trust faced challenges on several fronts, firstly the quest to acquire contiguous land large enough to build the proposed number of houses along with ancillary services. Secondly, in order to initiate the construction work the land needed to be suitable for constructing 200 houses and thirdly, to provide running water for the houses it was essential the acquired land was close to, or ideally on top of, sources of clean water.
However in response to pleas from victims to provide housing on their respective lands and with signs of reluctance in leaving their family dwellings honourable Pir Sahib was quick to adapt the overall Trust strategy to respect the wishes of the victims. Although this proved more timely it gave a sense of satisfaction to know that our efforts would be more fruitful.
Eventually in the first quarter of 2012 Mohiuddin Trust had the pleasure of announcing the completion of 200 homes dotted all around Muzaffargarh, Kot Addu and Layya. Furthermore we ended up supplementing our initial pledge by providing an additional 50 homes thanks to the outstanding project management and meticulous financial planning thus totalling 250 homes inclusive of clean running water and sanitary facilities.