The Forgotten floods: the plight of 10 million victims has become yesterday’s news

Abiya Manzoor

Abiya Manzoor

Fashion and Features Editor
‘All the ships have broken, now the river takes us places’

Almost six months ago Pakistan experienced ten folds more rain than expected pulling down houses and hopes of many people affected by it. When the floods initially came, every social media post was dedicated to the flood victims and flood relief funds were shared on various socials extensively. However, like every important news the emphasis on the plight of the millions of affected flood victims soon got lost in the exaggerated political headlines.

While we make judgements about the ruling political parties and the associated shenanigans hidden comfortably behind our phone screens, we are overlooking the 10 million flood victims who don’t have access to clean drinking water. UINICEF reports “the floods damaged most of the water systems in affected areas, compelling more than 5.4 million people, including 2.5 million children, to solely rely on contaminated water from ponds and wells.

Furthermore open defecation and lack of proper sanitary facilities gives rise to diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dengue and malaria which eventually become an underlying cause of malnutrition. A major chunk of children in Pakistan are affected by malnutrition, serving as one of the major reasons for the increasing number of deaths among children in the affected areas.

This written feature is not a pompous attempt at displaying our social concerns but rather a plea of help. While reading an account on UNICEF’s website a flood affected victim describes his experience as:

                                                  “The sound of the flowing water used to feel soothing. Now I fear it.”

Another account by Al Jazeerah narrates the loss of a woman who lost her child due to a miscarriage because of the turmoil ensued by the current floods. The account further mentions:  “the loss of her pregnancy was a painful reminder of the last major flood in her village in 2010. Then, too, she lost a child who was only seven-days old.

While the people continue to be deprived of basic human rights, the traumatic experience continues to haunt them and is increasingly affecting their mental health. The displaced victims may have survived but are they really living?

Our previous feature highlighted how the ignorance associated to such natural disasters leads to a crippling effect on the displaced victims. The feature also highlighted how the situation could have been way better if the alarming signs were given the attention they deserved when the the floods were in the beginning stages. However astoundingly, even after the destruction is widely known and clear we continue to ignore it and continue to look for the most expensive lawns to wear this Eid.

Below we have linked multiple organizations working endlessly to help people affected in KPK, Balochistan, Sindh and Southern Punjab.

Akhuwat’s Emergency Cash Relief Fund

AlKhidmat Foundation Pakistan

Edhi Foundation Flood Relief