"Pakistan floods just one of its water woes" by Tim Sullivan, Associated Press Writer | August 28, 2010
Pakistani villagers flee their homes due to flooding in Thatta near Hyderabad, Pakistan Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010. The Taliban hinted Thursday they may launch attacks against foreigners helping Pakistan respond to the worst floods in the country's history, saying their presence was "unacceptable." The U.N. said it would not be deterred by violent threats. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
I'm flabbergasted at the photograph.
SHIKARPUR, Pakistan --Thousands of farmers have crowded this once-quiet Pakistani town. They live on the hospital's lawn, they camp on overpasses. Their fields are destroyed, covered by billions of gallons of brown soupy floodwater.
But ask those farmers about their water troubles and they'll tell you flooding is just the most recent chapter.
"There is not enough water. We don't have enough for the crops," said Zubair Ahmed, a tenant farmer who came here after floods swept through his village and destroyed his fields. "Except for this year," he added, without any irony. "This year it is different."
This country, with its network of rivers that flow into the mighty Indus, struggles daily with water issues -- too little, too much, in the wrong place -- and rain is important to more than just farmers.
Around here, rainfall has long been reflected in economics, politics, diplomacy and social stability....
A month into the worst floods in the country's history, there was no respite Saturday.
The swollen Indus River smashed another break early Saturday in the levees that protect the southern city of Thatta and numerous nearby villages. That sent thousands more people fleeing for high ground, crowding the roads and leaving the city of 175,000 nearly empty.
Yeah, no need to trouble the yuppie elite that sits down with a Sunday Globe.
Thousands of flood victims sought shelter on the high ground of a sprawling centuries-old cemetery outside Thatta. Many were furious at the shortage of help, and how aid came in the form of bags of food being tossed from trucks.
"The people who come here to give us food treat us like beggars. They just throw the food. It is humiliating," said 80-year-old Karima, who uses only one name, and who was living in the graveyard with more than two dozen relatives.
Yeah, that is the way I saw it.
Almost 17.2 million people have been significantly affected by the floods and about 1.2 million homes have been destroyed or badly damaged, the U.N. has said. About 1,500 people have died. At one point, an area the size of Italy was believed to be underwater, much of it farmland.
So FAMINE is in the FUTURE for the Pakistanis, huh?
The scale of the crisis quickly overwhelmed authorities, with the government's painfully slow response leading to fears of unrest. While there has been no widespread violence, flood victims have repeatedly blocked roads through the flooded regions demanding more help.
What else are they supposed to do?
The country's finances, though, will take a major blow: Farming is a pillar of the Pakistani economy, making up some 23 percent of the gross domestic product and supporting millions of families. Officials expect the agricultural costs from the floods to reach into the billions of dollars.
The floods' effects also will go far beyond the time when the waters recede.
Even Islamabad acknowledges it needs massive repairs to its enormous water irrigation network, which stretches across thousands of miles. About 80 percent of the country's farmers are dependent on irrigation to nourish their crops....The floods also raised worries in Pakistan that India -- this country's chief rival -- could worsen the problem by draining its rain-swollen rivers into Pakistan.
Related: India Causes Fresh Pakistan Floods
Looks as if the worries were justified.
And has Kashmir ever dropped of the BG radar screen.
Normally, the situation is reversed, with Pakistan complaining that India is withholding water.
Under a 1960 agreement, the two countries are supposed to share the use of the six rivers that irrigate the Pakistani agricultural heartland. India, though, controls the source of those rivers, leading to regular cross-border accusations, as Islamabad charges that New Delhi is taking more than its share, and New Delhi alleging Pakistan's poor infrastructure leads to massive water waste.
Also see: Pakistan and India's Other ProblemsDon't read much about those, do you?
What did appear in my Sunday Globe:
Pakistani flood survivors wait their turn to get relief food distributed by naval officials in Sangi Village near Sukkur, in southern Pakistan. (Associated Press)
Source: A call for help in flood-ravaged Pakistan
Are you kidding me?
Globe is right back on it Monday:
"Pakistan children at risk in flood aftermath; Diseases linked to tainted water threaten millions" by Asif Shahzad, Associated Press | August 30, 2010
Volunteers distributed supplies yesterday in Pabbi, in northwestern Pakistan, where more than 1,600 people have died. (Mohammad Sajjad/ Associated Press)
PABBI, Pakistan — Five-year-old Shahid Khan struggled to remain conscious in his hospital bed as severe diarrhea threatened to kill him. His father watched helplessly, stricken at the thought of losing his son, one of the only things the floods had not already taken.
The young boy is one of millions of children who survived the floods that ravaged Pakistan over the last month but are now vulnerable to a second wave of death caused by waterborne disease, according to the United Nations.
Khan’s father, Ikramullah, fled Pabbi just before floods devastated the northwestern town about a month ago, abandoning his two-room house and all his possessions to save his wife and four children.
“I saved my kids. That was everything for me,’’ said Ikramullah, whose 6-year-old son, Waqar, has also battled severe diarrhea in recent days. “Now I see I’m losing them. We’re devastated.’’
How dare anyone say they hate us more than they love their families?
HOW DARE THEY!!!!??
Ten other children lay in beds near Khan at the diarrhea treatment center run by the World Health Organization in Pabbi, two of whom were in critical condition.
Access to clean water has always been a problem in Pakistan, but the floods have made the situation much worse by breaking open sewer lines, filling wells with dirty water and displacing millions of people who have been forced to use the contaminated water around them.
The environment is especially dangerous for children, who are more vulnerable to diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery because they are more easily dehydrated. Many children in Pakistan also suffered from malnutrition before the floods hit, leaving them with weakened immune systems.
About 3.5 million children are at imminent risk of waterborne disease and 72,000 are at high risk of death, according to the UN....
Muslim countries, organizations, and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion in cash and relief supplies to help Pakistan, the head of a group of Islamic states said yesterday.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the pledges came from Muslim states, NGOs, OIC institutions, and telethons held in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
No, and the MSM here made it sound as if they had pledged but not deliver -- the one time they bothered to mention it!
And WHERE is the U.S. in this article?
We have been told here how great we are by helping out.
The floods started in the northwest in late July after extremely heavy monsoon rains and surged south along the Indus River, killing more than 1,600 people, damaging or destroying more than 1.2 million homes, and inundating one-fifth of the country, an area larger than England....
They said 1,500 above -- which means the MSM doesn't really know and has settled on a number they can repeat and repeat so you don't become to alarmed.
Just terrorist needing aid, anyway. That's the way most Americans see it, thank you very much MSM!
Btw, where is that ARTICLE on the "terrorist" aid groups I have been waiting for?
In Nowshera, a city adjacent to Pabbi that was also engulfed by the floods, residents who have begun to return in recent days have encountered a scene of total destruction: caved-in houses and streets covered with mud and debris.
Most of the population lacks access to clean water, and mosquitoes have proliferated in stagnant flood water, raising the risk of malaria. Government help is nowhere to be found.
“It is trash, dirt, germs, and odd smells everywhere,’’ said Zahid Ullah, whose 3-year-old and 10-year-old sons were being treated for gastroenteritis at the facility in Nowshera.
The SCALE of this CATASTROPHIC DISASTER is DIFFICULT to get the mind around -- as it gets worse by the day.