Although the rains have stopped, water remains high in many provinces of Pakistan.
The city of Javrabad in Balochistan is surrounded by water. Millions of infected mosquitoes hatch in the water. This has led to a massive growth in waterborne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and diarrhoea.
– Malaria has become the biggest problem here. 6 out of 10 patients treated with us have malaria and need medication, says chief medical officer Imran Baloch on the phone from the district hospital in Javrabad.
He had to treat patients in the field when the hospital was flooded.
NRK visited Jfarabad At the beginning of September. Until then, the situation was critical, but it got worse.
– It got worse. Every day we receive between 400 and 500 malaria patients, says Baloch enthusiastically.
The World Health Organization describes what is happening now as a potential disaster.
– I am very concerned about a new potential disaster in Pakistan. We have a wave of illness and death as a result.
This was written by the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, In a press release.
The doctor in Javrabad tells of doubling the number of patients. There is a shortage of doctors and medicines. The biggest problem is that many patients do not have access to a doctor. People live scattered around the area. The flood destroyed roads and made it impossible for many to reach the hospital.
We try to help everyone, but there are no ways. We have three ambulances, but only one of them is working, Baloch says.
In addition to flood-related diseases, it is difficult to provide regular health care. pregnant women You cannot recover in hospital and must give birth at home.
A woman should give birth without the need to consult a doctor or midwife. This has led to an increase in maternal and child mortality. This is what the doctor at Gafarabad Hospital says.
The melting of snow from the glaciers in the mountains and heavy monsoon rains led to this violent flood At the end of August. The flood displaced 6.4 million people from their homes. All of them now need emergency help to survive.
Both the United Nations and aid organizations sent emergency aid and relief crews, but it still wasn’t enough. This is what Knut Ostby, UNDP Country Director in Pakistan said during a visit to Chitral in the north.
There are still many who haven’t received the help they need. There is a lot of despair and frustration here. People who have lost everything and need emergency help, Ostby says.
The floodwaters destroyed roads, making it difficult to get help. The worst affected areas are abandoned, so aid is delivered to refugee camps in easily accessible locations.
– The arrival of emergency aid, but it is not enough for everyone.
Ostby says that emergency aid is short-term, and in the longer term people should get help to fend for themselves. People should rebuild homes, so that they have a place to live. Millions of Pakistanis can no longer support themselves. Crops were flooded. Livestock sank and factories destroyed.
Power outages 17 hours a day
The flood led to a negative downward spiral of events. One of the effects of the floods is the cracking of aggregates and power grids. Even hospitals are not allowed to have electricity 24 hours a day. We only get 6-7 hours of electricity per day, says hospital doctor Imran Baloch.
– It’s a big problem for us in the hospital. We need solar panels to get electricity around the clock.
He says they are still in the rescue phase and that it will take half a year before the people of the area begin to rebuild and rehabilitate.
Not the last time
We need to rebuild in a way that can withstand natural disasters in the future, says Knut Ostby on a visit to a flooded village in Chitral.
In the Hindu Kush, the waters have receded and the residents have to start preparing for the next one.
– This has been declared a natural disaster. It is due to global warming and it will happen again.
There may be different ways to reduce damage from future floods. Homes should not be reconstructed in the same place, but in more elevated and flood-resistant areas. This also includes continuous monitoring of the thaw of 5,000 glaciers in the mountains.
– We try to reduce the damage caused by meltwater flooding by installing warning systems.
Ostby talks about a UNDP-sponsored aid project where people in Pakistan’s valleys can go online and read about snowmelt and water levels in the mountains. Then it will be easier to evacuate the villages, the next time a big flood is on the way.
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