Sindh: A province devastated

The flood that inundated Sindh beginning in the first week of August left hundreds of villages and scores of towns in 21 out of the 23 districts of the province flooded. Of these, 16 districts were completely inundated, and the remaining seven were affected by breaches and overflow in canals. In the language of disaster response, almost four million people in the province were rendered 'vulnerable', two million 'extremely vulnerable' and 700,000 homeless. It is estimated that around 10 million people will be affected in Sindh by the time the floodwater enters the Arabian Sea (see Pakistan Flood Relief page on for updates). By the time the floodwaters recede, around 40 percent of Sindh's population of 40 million will have been affected either directly or indirectly. Hundreds of thousands of livestock, including cows, goats, sheep, camels and buffaloes – which provide the foundation of the rural economy and source of livelihood – are either dead or have fallen victim to disease. The rest are facing an acute shortage of fodder.

Meanwhile, the national, provincial and district disaster-management authorities have failed almost completely in Sindh. The army has played a role in rescuing stranded people, but has mostly concentrated on saving Pannu Aqil cantonment and other security installations.

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Himal Southasian