Green Cross Pakistan along with other NGOs met with the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Secretariat on 30 August to discuss the emergency response to the devastating flooding in the country as well how local and international NGOs can assist immediately and effectively.
The Federal government’s special agency for natural disasters started the meeting by giving an update on the flood catastrophe followed by a briefing by representatives from organizations on the current situation. Currently almost 10 million are homeless, including 6 million children, 4000 kilometers of roads and 1000 bridges have been destroyed; 60,000 children are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases (such as malaria and diarrhoea) and 2 million children have no access to food and drinking water.
As a result of the meeting, GC Pakistan has identified the following areas where help is needed:
Landmines and unexploded materials
In recent army operations in Waziristan, Sawat and Kasmir landmines were used extensively. However, now the floods have swept the landmines down to nearby cities and villages, where they pose a serious threat to more then 100,000 people in the area. Therefore, since it is difficult to determine the areas where landmines and unexploded material has been moved to, research to determine the locations need to be carried out when the flooding has ended.
Type of support needed: Financial and technical assistance
Water and waterborne diseases
More then 40,000 community drinking water resources (wells, water storage tanks etc) have been destroyed impacting 6 million people. Furthermore, destruction of industrial based chemicals is polluting existing groundwater resources impacting the source of drinking water for 2 million people. Waterborne diseases are also spreading quickly with more then 200,000 children needing access to clean water immediately.
Type of Support needed: Technical products, financial support, technical assistance, mobile water treatment plants, water treatment tablets
The electrical infrastructure has also been badly affected with villages in all 4 provinces having almost no electricity. Therefore, solar technology devices are needed immediately while the infrastructure needs to be reestablished in the long-term.
Type of Support needed: Technical assistance and resources, financial assistance in preparing damage assessment and feasibility reports