Another year of flooding in Sindh


September 15, 2011

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    Mercy Corps  </span>
    Photo: Mercy Corps

After barely getting back on their feet from the historic 2010 floods, Pakistan's monsoon season has deluged the same region again creating a health and housing crisis for over 5 million people according to the UN. Media reports have estimated over 300 people have died and thousands have been displaced in Sindh Province.

Heavy, prolonged rainfall joined by run-off from northern areas and exacerbated by breaches in canals all have mixed together to create brackish, black water that is ripe for disease transmission. We're seeing contamination of fodder and water for livestock, which is also leading to disease and death. More importantly, vast tracts of agriculture land have been flooded, meaning loss of food and cash crops.

Mercy Corps is responding by providing emergency clean water and sanitation to displaced communities and establishing mobile medical clinics to deal with injuries and disease caused by the floods.

We'll currently be deploying two water units, capable of filtering around 4,000 liters of water/hour, running on average 12 hours/day. We can thus provide clean water to approximately 10,000 - 12,000 people per day.

Local NGOs with longstanding experience in these areas will assist in some areas with water trucking.

Our Mobile Health Units can reach an average of 50 patients each per day, providing emergency treatment and, when necessary, referral services to nearby Basic Health Units, clinics or hospitals -- at least those still functional. Many have been shut down due to the flooding. The MHUs will also be equipped with quick malaria testing kits and treatment.

Mercy Corps teams will also work to analyze the mid- to long-term effects and work with communities to recover from this disaster.