Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pakistan: From Natural Disaster to Social Catastrophe

by Snehal Shingavi, Global Research, Aug 18, 2010

The floods which have devastated huge areas of Pakistan may be an act of nature, but the worsening humanitarian crisis that followed is a direct result of the failures of Pakistan’s venal leaders – and the impact of the U.S. “war on terror.”

According to official estimates, more than 20 million people have been displaced and another 1,600 are dead as a result of one of the worst floods in Pakistani history. In some places, the rains have made the Indus River 15 miles wide, some 25 times broader than normal.

The flooding started when the monsoon rains tore through the mountains in the northwest part of the country (called Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa). As the waters raged through the Sindh and Punjab provinces, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and over 1.7 million acres of farmland. Several large cities were also been submerged, like Naushera, Muzaffarabad and Abottabad. The people who have made it out of the flood-ravaged areas are crammed in makeshift shelters or in overcrowded government buildings.

Those who escaped the floods find themselves without access to food, clean drinking water, sanitation and medicine. All of this has exacerbated the crisis, as many more are likely to die as the result of diarrhea, cholera and other diseases.

Continues >>
Post a Comment