Floods in Pakistan: Solidarity and Appeal for Urgent Help!

Bagnolet, 1st September 2022: La Via Campesina expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan whose lives and livelihoods have been upended by unprecedented flooding that has taken over 1300 lives and affected more than 50 million people!

Reproduced below is an urgent appeal for help published by Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC), the LVC member organisation in Pakistan. The statement issued by PKRC also details the scale of the devastation and how it has affected the peasants and waged workers in particular.

Pakistan produces less than 1% of the world’s carbon emissions, yet it is one of the countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. For the past 20 years, it has consistently been listed in the Global Climate Risk Index as one of the ten most vulnerable countries in the world. Pakistan and other South Asian countries are the hotspots of the climate crisis.

We appeal to the global community to stay alert to the situation in Pakistan and extend all the solidarity and support requested by civil society members and citizen groups coordinating and supporting the relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Solidarity appeal by Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC) | 31 August 2022

Incessant monsoon rains and flash floods have devastated Pakistan, affecting millions of people and communities and causing huge economic losses. According to the official figure from the National Disaster Management Authority, the floods have so far claimed the lives of 1,350 people. One million houses are totally or partially damaged, leaving millions of people in need of urgent shelter. More than 50 million people were displaced from their homes.

According to a Sindh government report, more than 10 million people have been left homeless in the Sindh province alone. Livelihoods have also been severely affected: more than 1 million livestock – a key source of sustenance and livelihood for many families – have died, of which 63% are in Balochistan and 25% in Punjab. Around 4 million acres of crops and orchards have also been affected, including at least 304,475 acres in Balochistan, 438,274 acres in Punjab, 35,565 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and 2.5 million acres in Sind. The damage to infrastructure has further worsened the humanitarian situation, as partial or total destruction of more than 3,000 km of roads and more than 220 bridges prevents people from fleeing to safer areas or moving to access markets, healthcare or other vital services, and restricts the delivery of aid to people in need.

More than 1,000 health facilities are partially or completely damaged in Sindh province, while 198 health facilities are damaged in the affected districts of Balochistan. Damage to roads and bridges has also compromised access to health facilities for girls and women. Provisional data from provincial Education Departments show that at least 17,566 schools have been damaged or destroyed due to the emergency: 15,842 schools in Sindh, 544 in Balochistan and 1,180 in Punjab.

Impact on farms, peasants and waged workers

The most affected agricultural crops are rice and cotton, especially in the Sindh and southern Punjab areas. Almost half of the country’s cotton crop has been wiped out: the cotton crop in the Saraiki Waseeb area has been severely affected.

Similarly, mango orchards and red chili farms in Sindh are also flooded. The standing sugarcane crop has also suffered damage of up to 7% due to flooding, despite being a water-intensive crop, demonstrating the intensity of the disaster faced by smallholder farmers and farming communities.

In many areas of KPK, especially in the cities of Swat, Nowshera and Charsadda maize and rice crops have been washed away by flash floods. Peasants, agricultural workers and farming communities have lost their land and animals. Their homes have also been swept away, as they are now living under the sky without any roof or shelter.

There could also be problems in planting the next crop. One is the soil, which may take longer to dry out. Another one is the lack of resources faced by farmers, as they often use the income from previous harvests to plant the next one. These people have lost their livestock and crops. They have also been displaced from their lands and territories. They will need help from the government and others to invest in the next crop. The other issue could be land demarcation. As in the case of the floods, it needs to be redone in its entirety.

Immediate needs on the ground and PKRC’s relief efforts

Millions of affected Pakistanis are in desperate need of help as authorities say they are “overwhelmed” by the scale of the disaster, which the country’s climate minister called a “serious climate catastrophe”.

To ensure the provision of relief and rehabilitation to flood-affected people, the government needs more than Rs. 72 billion (about US$327 million). According to the initial tender assessment report, more than Rs. 7 billion (about $32 million) in cash relief is needed, while almost Rs. 9 billion (about $113 million) is required to provide non-food items, and almost Rs. 2 billion (about $9 million) has to be spent on medical expenses.

To save livestock, more than Rs. 9 billion (about $113 million) is needed, while the purchase of equipment to speed up the relief process should be in place around Rs. 5 billion (about $22.7 million). The reconstruction of all infrastructure and some 82,000 houses requires Rs. 41 billion (about $186 million), Independent Urdu reported.

Affected individuals and communities are in immediate need of the following ration items:

  • Clean drinking water;
  • Dry fuel such as wood, kerosene oil, etc;
  • Dry eatables (since cooked food may perish or be useful only once);
  • Powdered milk (for children) and cartons of liquid milk;
  • Linen sheets instead of blankets and quilts;
  • Sewn clothing that can be readily worn;
  • Plastic shoes, as regular shoes are useless in the midst of stagnant flood waters;
  • Sanitary pads (with disposable wrappers) or cloth napkins for women;
  • Raw food such as rice, flour and lentils for people trapped in their homes due to the floods;
  • Dry ration as toasted black chana and dates;
  • Dry fodder for livestock;
  • Tents.

PKRC and Haqooq e Khalq Party are conducting relief work since July 29, 2022 and are in contact with affected communities in Southern Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. We are sending flood relief items, food rations for those who need immediate help. Medical camps have also been organized with the volunteer work of young doctors.

We need your immediate solidarity and support. Please send your donations to our sister organization Crofter Foundation. Crofter Foundation is a registered organization in Pakistan.

  • Bank name: Silkbank
  • Account title: Crofter Foundation
  • Account Holder’s Address: House # 56, Block – D, Adan Garden, HarbansPura, Opposite Lahore Medical Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan, 54000
  • IBAN: PK07SAUD0000032008215629
  • Address: Silk Bank, main branch, Egerton Road, Lahore, Pakistan

To help PKRC identify the donations, please mention “PKRC Appeal” in the transfer remarks.

For any queries related to transfer or utilisation of the donations, reach out to Farooq Tariq: farooqtariq@hotmail.com of PKRC.

Cover Image: A displaced family wades with their belongings through a flooded area in the Jaffarabad district of Pakistan’s Balochistan province on August 24. Zahid Hussain/AP