PAKISTAN – The floods that have ravaged the country last year have left hundreds homeless in the northern Pakistan and many in the Punjab and Sindh provinces as Pakistan struggles to make up the losses inflicted by climate change.
As a reporter for Native Times, I traveled to the affected areas to witness the devastation firsthand and speak to those affected.
In Sindh, I met with Mariaya, a mother of three who lost everything to the floods. “We had no warning, no time to prepare. The water just came and took everything away. We are left with nothing,” she said. “We need help from the government, from aid organizations. We cannot do this alone.”
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While months have passed since the devastation, scores of families are still unsettled as water is yet to recede from the land. The situation wasn’t different in Punjab province either as homelessness coupled with rising inflation has crippled life of the ordinary people.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, I visited a tent village in Diamer district’s remote Darel-Tangir valley where families were living in makeshift shelters made of sticks and plastic. Mohammad Essa, a father of two, told me how he had spent all his savings on food and shelter, but it was never enough. “We are struggling to survive. Our children are hungry, and we have no way to get them the medical care they need.”
The floods have caused extensive damage, with dozens of people killed and over 1.5 million affected across the country. In Sindh and Punjab, over 500,000 people have been displaced, with crops and livestock destroyed. In Gilgit-Baltistan, landslides damaged roads and destroyed homes, leaving many without access to basic services such as healthcare and clean water.
Despite the scale of the disaster, the government’s response has been slow and inadequate, with aid organizations struggling to reach those in need. “The situation is very grim, and people need urgent help,” said Mir Bahadur, a representative of a local aid organization. “We are doing our best, but we need more support from the government and international community.”
As the floodwaters recede, the long-term impact on the affected communities is becoming clear. Many will struggle to rebuild their lives and businesses, with the economic and social costs of the disaster likely to be felt for years to come.
However, there is hope. Organizations and individuals have come together to provide aid and support to those in need. As I left the flood-affected areas, I saw volunteers distributing food and water, and medical professionals setting up makeshift clinics to treat the sick and injured.
“I’m heartbroken by what I’ve seen, but I’m also inspired by the resilience of the people I’ve met,” said one aid worker. “We will continue to do everything we can to help them, and we won’t stop until they are back on their feet.”
The floods in Pakistan have been devastating, but they have also brought out the best in people. In the face of a crisis, communities have come together to support one another, and aid organizations have worked tirelessly to provide assistance. While there is still much to be done, there is hope for a brighter future for those affected by the floods.