Pakistan never ceases to amaze. This was evident in their recently concluded elections. Polling results were delayed by days to select candidates shortlisted by the Rawalpindi clique of generals.
At least 1,186 people have died from the floods in Pakistan, leaving affected residents angry at the lack of help being provided to them as this natural disaster disrupts life and pose threat to food security and the economy.
Affected people have criticized the Islamabad government over their inept response to the floods. Various residents took to the street and staged a protest over the lack of help from the government as everything they had including their homes vanished in the floods, Al Arabiya Post reported.
“My own town has been without power for five days. People need camps, medicine, food, mosquito nets, de-watering machines and other items — none of which were adequately available,” said, a 60-year-old Razzak Shahid from Punjab’s Fazilpur.
Meanwhile, another resident, Omar Ali from Matta in the Swat Valley, slammed the government for its inaction while people struggled for their survival.
“The Matta area is cut off from all sides. People have been trapped for the past five to six days and diseases are spreading. They have no food and the government so far has not taken any steps,” Ali said.
The floods have affected over 33 million people and have destroyed farms, infrastructure projects, and villages.” Nothing is left for us there (in the village). My house, agriculture land, standing cotton crop, everything has gone,” said Altaf Hussain, a farmer from Sindh.
The Shahbaz Sharif-led government blamed climate change for the ongoing situation and has sought international aid, according to Al Arabiya Post.
To help Pakistan in such a situation, many international agencies and countries came forward to help the country. United Nations and countries like the US and China have started sending humanitarian aid to Pakistan. Yet, affected and stranded people said they are not getting enough assistance from Pakistani authorities.
Mihrajuddin Khan, a school teacher in Swat Valley, said “We have lost everything. We only managed to save our lives. Nobody has come to us. We are being treated like orphans, animals.”
The inflation rate has reached 44.58 per cent thanks to declining forex reserves and flood-caused disruptions in commodity markets. Essential food items such as onion, tomato, and potato have seen a weekly hike of 43.9 per cent, 41.13 per cent, and 6.23 per cent respectively.
While many parts of the country are reeling under tremendous inflation, farmers claimed 90 per cent of their standing crops were destroyed due to floods, rains and road inaccessibility. Flood-affected people are watching the disaster helplessly as the Islamabad government fails to provide relief.
“We do not have any support in rebuilding houses nor getting any incentive for crop revival,” said Abdul Hameed, a farmer from Balochistan.
The agriculture sector was already under stress due to higher prices of crop inputs such as fertilisers and seeds and now this flood has made the situation even worse, reported Al Arabiya Post.
“Pakistan has to spend billions of dollars next year to secure its population from hunger as the recent floods have destroyed almost everything,” said Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Khalid Khokhar.
According to Pakistan Business Forum, the floods posed a risk to the country’s food security. Floods have damaged crucial crops such as rice, and cotton while breaking the rural economy.
According to JS Global Research, floods will cause USD 4 billion loss to Pakistan’s economy. Islamabad too has predicted bad days for the economy ahead amid rising inflation.