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Floods still a major worry for Pakistan

Parts of south Pakistan are still under flood waters one year after last year’s devastating events that affected 18M people, killed nearly 2,000 and caused £3.5bn worth of economic damage.

Rainfall predicted to rise

The southern province of Sindh is still under up to 3m of water and rainfall this year is expected to be higher than average, according to engineering charity RedR. Last year’s floods were triggered by an extreme monsoon season.

“The area is flat as a pancake, and it will take a long time for the region to recover,” said a RedR spokesman.
Currently, hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in temporary shelters and many are still surviving on food aid.

However, recovery efforts in the north of the country appear to be much more successful as many homes have been rebuilt.

Last year’s floods generated a huge international response with the United Nations (UN) raising $1.96bn (£1.19bn). But lack of local capacity and the scale of the floods has hindered progress.

Rebuilt by locals

The UN, through local Pakistan agencies, is funding rebuilding programmes, with roads and infrastructure often being rebuilt by locals.

Over 1.6M homes, 430 health facilities and an estimated 10,000 schools were damaged or destroyed and 2.4M.ha of cultivatable land was devastated.

Aid is reaching the north of Pakistan where steel bridge manufacturer Mabey Bridge has been installing the first of 12 bridges in the Swat Valley. Funding for this is part of a £64M UK government aid package.

RedR has trained 1,200 aid workers in more than 200 humanitarian organisations since the floods began.

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