The Monsoon 2022 hits Pakistan severely, more than thirty-three million people were affected by some of the worst flooding ever seen in the region.
Heavy rains and overflowing rivers have consumed 24 districts in both northern and southern parts of Sindh, where 790 people are believed to have lost their lives due to drowning, snake bites, lightning strikes, and other factors since the floods started in early August 2022. Among the deceased, some 42% were children and 18% were women who lost their lives. The provincial authority also reported some 8,442 injuries.
In the period between August 19 and September 03, 2022, alone, it is estimated that more than 12 million population was affected among whom some 5 million were forced from their homes to leave and search for safer places across Sindh.
Some 1,885,029 houses were affected, while around 716,000 houses were damaged fully. The displaced people left their homes and the majority among them were unable to access the 422 temporary shelters set up by the local and international NGOs, National as well as Provincial Disaster Management authorities. Only 5% of the displaced were able to reach these relief camps while the remaining established their temporary shelters and preferred to live on their own at raised places.
Imagine a daily wager, who earns a little from shared cropping as a farmer, and has a big list of dependents among whom was waiting to get elders, planning to get those married, and have managed their dowry and wedding expenses out of meager resources, but suddenly all is washed away. There are some tribes whose women never had a night among other villagers under the open sky. But this flood not only ruined their dreams but their traditional old social values are also lost somewhere. Hundreds of thousands used to feed others but these were when they were unaware of where their next meal would come from. The only thing currently they are waiting for is to return to their home, rebuild their shelters, and start again from scratch. This is what is happening in the flood-affected areas of Sindh. The stories of people are worse than one can even imagine. Winter is almost here, and open sky, infant children, pregnant women, and elderly people are most at risk. The catastrophic Monsoon of 2022 depicted how cruel this climate can be for any region.
No doubt there’s no place like home, no matter what your house is made up of, but the sense of protection keep you strong enough to meet routine challenges and keep going to achieve your goals. But the recent devastation landscape is big enough, it has not only affected the economy and traditional social fabric but anxiety and stress becoming common. It’s also true that those who did the least to cause climate change are first in the line of fire, the poor and the weak, and communities subjected to discrimination are affected on a large scale.
There has been an 83% increase in climate-related disasters across the last 20 years. These disasters have ripped up homes, destroyed food supplies, and forced millions of people to leave their places. The worst affected are the people below the poverty line. The devastation requires long-term commitment, and the current situation of helplessness urges strong leadership for climate-smart and climate-friendly solutions and more support for the millions of people losing their only shelters in the climate crisis. FRDP is reaching out to these displaced communities, supporting them from the available basket, but the support extended is limited and requires longer-term partnerships and an integrated approach to rebuild. All stakeholders need to design climate-smart and disaster-resilient housing structures, the government should formalize all the informal settlements, and financial institutions should come forward for affordable and easily accessible finances.