Monsoon rains upon us


  akistan remain woefully unprepared for floods this year which UN officials said could affect up to five million people in worst-case scenario. All along the Indus River, dykes and embankments are incomplete while international donations for preparedness have fallen short. Sindh, one of the last year's most hard-hit provinces, is especially vulnerable to new flooding.



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      ast year's floods began in late July after heavier-than-usual monsoon rains swelled the headwaters of the Indus River basin, sending flash floods through the northwest and inundating great swaths of the country. Around 2000 people died, 11 million left homeless and another seven million people were affected. The country suffered more then $10 billions in damages to infrastructure, irrigation systems, bridges, house and roads.


       ne-fifth of Pakistan was submerged. Aid Organizations and the government were criticized for being too slow to respond while the military, believed to be far more efficient institutions, took the lead in relief operations.

The United Nations say it is working hard to stock-pile food, water and tents in the event of more floods this year. The Pakistan Meteorological Department expects this year's monsoons to be 10 per cent below normal.


         owever, rains in Pakistan's northern areas and Kashmir - which drain into the Indus River basin - are expected to be 10 per cent higher than last year. Environmental conditions such as increased snow melt in mountainous areas was leading to high water levels in rivers, while groundwater levels were already high after last year deluge, reducing its absorption capacity. And while Pakistan and United Nations say they're ready for two million flood affected, if the flood levels are anywhere close to last year that would mean trouble.


     he UN last year appealed to the world for almost $2 billion to help survivors - the biggest appeal ever launched by the body for any humanitarian emergency. Yet, 30 per cent of the appeal remains unfunded almost one year on. "It's much easier to find money for a coffin than for the medicine", Manuel Bassler (Head of the UN emergency Office-OCHA) said ruefully.



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