While Muslims throughout the globe get ready to celebrate Eid, the people of Pakistan, and especially Sindh, are still trying to pick up the pieces after the devastating floods of 2022.
Large swaths of Sindh are still under water, and the recovery effort is being hampered by broken drainage infrastructure. Millions of people, especially women and children, are suffering and failing to satisfy their basic requirements despite the government’s best attempts to give relief.
A recent study conducted by the ICIMOD and PARC titled “The 2022 Pakistan Floods: Assessment of Crop Losses in Sindh Province Using Satellite Data” has utilized satellite imagery to evaluate the potential crop production losses for major crops at the sub-district level. The study aims to aid the government’s rehabilitation and compensation planning processes in Sindh Province.
At the national level, the Sindh province accounts for a significant portion of Pakistan’s agricultural output, with 42% of the rice, 23% of the cotton, and 31% of the sugarcane production. The devastating floods that hit Pakistan in 2022 have wreaked havoc on the country’s agriculture, livestock, and infrastructure. The damage caused to storage facilities, which held millions of tonnes of grain, has raised concerns about an impending food security crisis. Devastating floods have hit the region, causing significant damage to key crops such as cotton, rice, and sugarcane, which were yet to be harvested.
According to a recent study, Sentinel-1 satellite images acquired during August 22–28 revealed that flood waters directly inundated over 2.5 million hectares of land, which accounts for more than 18% of Sindh’s total area. As a result, access and mobility were obstructed in approximately three-fourths of the province’s area. The northwestern districts of Jacobabad, Larkana, Shikarpur, and Kashmore were among the areas most severely impacted. According to satellite data obtained on September 3, flood waters originating from the western mountain region of Balochistan were causing the expansion of flooding and increasing river discharge at the Guddu barrage. This has resulted in further flooding of the Indus River.
Millions of Sindhis, especially farmers, have been affected by the flooding. His standing cotton crops were washed away, and he will be unable to sow wheat this year due to waterlogging. He said that he and his family, along with many others, have been forced to live in tents since they are unable to repair their destroyed houses. It is difficult for them to return to their normal lives since schools and hospitals in their communities are flooded.
More than 31,000 Sindh residents have been displaced from their homes, while 1.8 million Pakistanis continue to live in areas with poor access to clean water, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Increased rates of vector-borne infections, hunger, and disruptions to people’s ability to commute to work have resulted from this condition. According to the International Labor Organization, the agricultural industry has been hit the worst, resulting in the loss of nearly 4.3 million jobs or other economic disruptions.
The floods have had an impact on more than 12 million people in the province. Over a thousand people were killed, and 1.5 million homes were wiped out. According to the Minister for Irrigation in Sindh, Jam Khan Shoro, around 98% of the affected regions had been freed of floodwater. The remaining low-lying and depressed regions are still flooded. One million people are still living in areas at risk of flooding, so this disparity shows how much work still has to be done.
The absence of privacy makes it particularly difficult for women to deal with the effects of the floods. Many families are still homeless and struggling to make ends meet in a tent. Due to the loss of their cotton and cattle, her family is now deeply in debt and unable to make their repayments. WaterAid, a non-governmental organization, has been supplying emergency temporary toilets, but with just one toilet for every fifteen people living in the area, many people are still defecating in the open.
Millions of people in Pakistan, especially in Sindh, are still waiting for the government to take adequate steps for their rehabilitation while dealing with the aftereffects of the devastating floods. Although the government has offered assistance, many people are still unable to satisfy their most fundamental requirements, particularly women and children. Drainage and infrastructure repairs, as well as increased aid for impacted people, must be given first priority. The people of Sindh are still reeling from the effects of the floods, and they’ll have to deal with the heat of summer if something isn’t done soon.
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