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Deep in Pakistani flood zone, villagers refuse to run underwater homes

KHIPUR NATANSHAH, Pakistan – Deep inside the Pakistani flood zone, tens of thousands of people refuse to leave their villages, disappointing already- excessive relief efforts and the threat of dramatic spike in deaths, according to Pakistani officials.

hundreds of villages were flooded all over Pakistan and can now only be reached by boat. Washington Post journalists got hold of a rare media access to several flooded villages in the Dadu area, where the waters stretch to the horizon in each direction.

The only proof of great devastation below surface random shards of roof, mosque minarets, power lines, treetops and traffic lights half- hidden by marsh waters.

O one-third of According to the analysis of satellite images, Pakistan is under water. flood, caused combination of torrential monsoon rains and unusually strong glacier melt are the worst hit country in recorded history, say Pakistani officials. Over 33 million people suffered, and almost 1400 people died. Almost a third of in dead are children.

Dozens every day of boats pass Raza Mohammad shelter of tree branches and reeds erected on narrow backwater wall offering him a ride higher ground, but each time he brushes them off.

Even in in the middle of this is a huge disaster, he refuses to leave. Running now would mean leaving your cattle behind – everything he has left of value after his village was flooded – and he doesn’t trust government take care for him and him family on dry land.

“Honestly, I don’t want stay here, but I can’t go without my cattle. I would left with nothing,” he said.

Like many in rural areas of Sindh, Mohammad and his family lived on equivalent of about four dollars a day. After flood hiton couldn’t work. Without his animals, he could not provide for his wife and three children, he said.

“We never thought that the water would rise so high, otherwise we would left earlier and took away our animals with us,” he said. saving wall was built Pakistani government protect him area after last severe flood in 2010.

Mohammed and his neighbors thought that wall will keep. But suddenly burst in middle of night. In questions of hourswhat was about a foot of the rain turned into a stream of water. According to him, by morning almost the entire village had disappeared.

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” people in these areas are used to flooding,” said Lt. Col. Ejaz Karin of the Pakistani army. who oversees rescue and relief operations in Dadu district. But Karin said he didn’t trust the families. who refuse to be rescued realize it could take weeks or months for drain water.

If thousands continue to remain in flooded villages, Karin said it would create a “food emergency” and a health crisis, further delaying relief efforts and causing a sudden spike in mortality.

Food distribution in these flooded villages is intermittent and largely organized private faces. Sometimes boats arrive daily. Another time three days maybe pass without any supplies, residents say. The ration that families receive consists of of flour, rice, tea and sugar.

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Another farmer takes cover on dirty embankment, Miril Solengi, said he was grateful for food delivery, but it’s running out on animal feed and can’t afford buy more.

“If we can’t feed our buffaloes,” he paused. “I don’t know what do we do. Our life depends on these animals. All we can do is wait for the water will recede.”

In the village of Solengi, the height of the flood waters reaches 15 feet. And on current rate they recede by about two to three inches a day.

“We have already warned them please leave your homes and go to safety but they refuse,” Sona Han Chandio, Deputy Commissioner for Khaipur Natanshah said in Interview.

He said government sent health teams visit the remaining families in in flood zone, but teams failed to reach everyone. “We make our best”, he said, adding that these who refuse to be saved have a responsibility to “take care of of themselves.”

Budhari Solangi, 24 who sat with a group of Another women under the tent made of reeds and rags, they all said children who left sick. “They have fevers and skin conditions that we have never seen before,” she said.

She called her 7-year-old son back from the crumbling edge of dirt bank. She lifted his leg, revealing a rough, bumpy rash. up his ankle. “I don’t know what is it, she said.

While some boats deliver food she said no one brought her medicine area. The Pakistan Navy tried to talk her into leaving, but she said she didn’t want to. want break up her family and heard horror stories about conditions on higher Earth.

Families rescued by boat are dumped on a highway a few miles from the nearest government camp, she said. And take a trip on foot with small children it would be impossible.

“Our only option remains,” she said.

‘Not one cares for us’: Pakistanis struggle for flood survival

Near the water edgePakistani Navy officers set up staging area to expand rescue operations and inspect damage. Behind them are hundreds of families who decided to flee, their villages were crowded along the highway. Many were still wet from the road. Others were there for more than a week, I live in they made their own shelters.

Under the tent made of twigs, scarves and braided reeds, group of women held up small bags of cooked rice and asked passers-by for help.

“That’s all they gave us!” Navida Naich shouted across the road, pointing at the security forces just a little yards away. “Nothing else, not even milk for our small children”.

When the diet truck pulled out up, women told them children to run to that.

“We send our sons and daughters for food because the authorities are less harsh. with them,” Ghulam Zohra said. Her husband once tried to bring food back for in the family, but the security forces severely beat him when he tried to squeeze through the crowd, she said.

Help truck was quickly surrounded people desperate for food and police with clubs tried to disperse the crowd.

“Look at how They treat usZohra said, watching this scene and starting to cry.

Naich insulted Pakistani police truck passing by. “You dogs! All of you dogs! I spit on you!” she screamed.

Zohra said she thought she was holding her family safe by leaving your possessions behind and fleeing the floods, but now she’s terrified of the conditions they live in in.

“They don’t respect us,” she said of authorities. “They are just treat us with cruelty”.

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Derrick Santistevan
Derrick Santistevan
Derrick is the Researcher at World Weekly News. He tries to find the latest things going around in our world and share it with our readers.

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