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Worse than the tsunami?

Pakistan, August 10, 2010

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You've probably heard that UN officials have said the scale of the current disaster in Pakistan may exceed that of this year's earthquake in Haiti, the 2004 tsunami and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake — combined. Though the death toll does not approach those terrible events, the long term effects in terms of lost homes, destroyed crops, and farmland that has washed away.

Survivors need clean water, food and medical care to prevent waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera. The pictures we've been receiving from our response team there only hint at the widespread needs:

Mercy Corps has deployed seven trucks and staff to deliver safe drinking water to the Mingora/Saidu town. As a result, nearly 10,000 people are getting safe drinking water in the town on daily basis. Water filling stations from where water tankers are being filled has been disinfected and has been improved to ensure delivering of safe water to survivors.

Mercy Corps is also helping direct resources of other response agencies. We're organizing the distribution of water-purification tablets to far-flung villages, and buying supplies to build new water points and repair handpumps.

We're also procuring construction tools to go into emergency kits to 250 families. Flooding has washed away house, agriculture land, village and valley roads and other infrastructure. The tool kits will include wheelbarrows, pickaxes, shovels and jerry cans.

Our team is working hard to respond to survivors' immediate needs. We know these communities well, and we're committed to helping them rebuild after the waters recede.