Disease Warning As Pakistan Flood Death Toll Rises
Aid workers warn a lack of clean drinking water is causing an increase in diseases in Pakistan, as the death toll from devastating floods passes 1,200.
“Access to clean water was the biggest problem for those trying to find food and shelter, said medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres.”
The government met on Saturday to assess the scale of the floods which have submerged a third of the country.
At least one in three of the victims of the flooding are said to be children.
Government minister, Ahsan Iqbal said that the country did not have the resources to deal with the unprecedented crisis.
The flooding was the worst climate-induced 123,400 disaster in recent world history, he said.
Some 1.4 million homes had been destroyed in record record monsoon rains which have affected more than 33 million people.
The country’s top disaster management official said that 2022 had brought some “harsh realities of climate change for Pakistan.”
“This year we did not witness a spring season – we faced four heatwaves which caused large-scale forest fires across the country,” said Akhtar Nawaz.
Meanwhile, UN children’s agency Unicef said more children were at risk of dying from disease in Pakistan due to the shortage of clean water.
“There is now a high risk of water-borne, deadly diseases spreading rapidly, diarrhoea, cholera, dengue, malaria,” Unicef’s Abdullah Fadil said. “There is therefore a risk of many more child deaths.”
Estimates suggest the floods have caused at least $10bn (£8.5bn) of damage in Pakistan, and many people face serious food shortages. Nearly half of the country’s crops have been destroyed.
The country was already suffering from an economic crisis.
One province, Balochistan, has received 436% more rain than the 30-year average this monsoon. Reports said
Pakistan produces less than 1% of ”global greenhouse gas emissions” but its geography makes it extremely vulnerable to climate change.
Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely.
The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.
Reuters /Shakirat Sadiq