Pakistan – a nation that had suffered from massive flooding during last year’s monsoons is once again hit by flooding especially in the province of Sindh which has been clobbered by rains for the past five weeks. Last year’s flooding had inundated over one-fifth of the country’s land-mass and affected about 20 million people. This year’s flooding seems far more concentrated in Sindh Province; Twenty One out of Twenty Three districts of Sindh province have been affected.
Torrential downpours across Sindh showed no signs of letting up even this week (Monday 12th Sept), with many parts of the province entering their tenth straight day of heavy rains, causing water levels to rise and swamp towns, destroy homes and destroy farmland, making the job of rescue workers even more difficult. For its part, the government struggled to provide relief to the affected areas, taking the plea that it was ill-prepared for the calamity.
What is more worrisome is that the government is still unable to fully estimate the extent of the damage or coordinate relief efforts. The continuing rains have not allowed the already rising water levels to go down and thousands of people are still trapped in various parts of the province waiting for rescue workers to reach them.
The numbers from the flood’s devastation are staggering. An estimated 5.3 million people have been affected, about 1.2 million homes have been washed away and 1.7 million acres of cropland have been inundated. The Sindh government claims to have put an estimated 280,000 people in nearly 2,000 refugee camps. The UN children’s agency said up to 2.5 million children in southern Pakistan had been affected by these floods. The death toll from the rains continued to rise, with another 23 people being killed over a 24-hour period, taking the total fatality count above 200.
A massive number of animals have died, causing outbreak of various diseases along with Malaria and other water born epidemics have emerged. There are several cases of death by snake bite but serum is rarely available. The government is providing mosquito nets, but it is feared that not nearly enough are being distributed and that the nets themselves may not be enough to prevent the outbreak of diseases.
· Pray for the safety of the people trapped in villages and that they would be rescued on time and further death toll would not rise.
· Pray for the rains to stop so that rescue work can be done and further damages do not occur.
· Pray that on time medicines and medical aid can be provided to the sick; pray that the required medical help would come from the Govt, International Aid Agencies on urgent basis.
· Pray that that donor fatigue which is visible (because last year’s rehabilitation work was still continuing) would not affect and the concerned organization will stand committed to help the people.
· Pray that an ample supply of food stuff, medicines, drinking water, tents/shelters, medicines, mosquito nets which are the basic needs right now will reach all people irrespective of cast, color or religion.
· Pray that the people responsible for distribution of relief good will be honest and there would not be favoritism or any corruption.
· Pray that in the midst of this clammily the Lord will lift His people up and they would be witness among the unbelievers, pray that the Lord will appear to many and change their lives.
· Pray that the government, donor agencies and local NGO’s will start rehabilitation work earlier and committed International Aid will also arrive on time and distribute rapidly.
Emmanuel Khurshid - [email protected]
Pakistan Prayer Network
Thailand - All over Thailand many areas are suffering heavy losses from flooding. Many places have been inundated for weeks without sign of relief as the sky continues to pour down heavily. Several people have been reported dead or missing. Thousands of families across the country lost their belongings and some their homes. Thousands of acres of rice fields have already been or are about to be damaged.
In the Utradit province, landslides killed several people, washed away homes, roads and public utilities. Hundreds of people are left homeless.
Yet, the scary thing is that more rain will continue until, at least the middle of October. Most of the major dams across Thailand are almost full (some already full). On the 15th of September, the authorities will have to open the flood gates to release tons of water or risk greater dangers. This will cause more places to be under water.
In many parts of Thailand, many young people, male and female have to leave home to seek job elsewhere leaving behind their elderly parents and young children. With sudden flash flood, many of these elderly and young children are caught stranded.
Many are suffering severe depression because they have nothing left and no insurance to cover them.
· In a time like this, I would like to implore your earnest prayer for all the victims, potential victims, the rescue workers, the Government, relief agencies and etc.
· Pray especially for those who have already lost loved ones and those who have lost homes and belongings.
· Pray also for the aftermath: the clearing, the rebuilding, the managing of relief efforts, and etc.
· Pray for the many places that will certainly become susceptible to water-borne diseases, especially the highly toxic rats' urine and from the sewerage system.
Henry Yeo - [email protected]
GDOP Coordinator Thailand