Friday 16 September
For further information
Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 / 07659 145 095
- 5.3million people affected; over 300,000 in relief camps; around 1.2 million homes damaged or destroyed
- Some areas under 5 feet of water
- British Red Cross pre-positioned aid helping alleviate flood distress
- New footage available – see end of release
Over five million people have been affected as monsoon floods have brought flash flooding to areas of southern Pakistan.
Sindh province, one of the worst-hit areas in last year’s devastating floods, has been badly affected, with 23 districts affected by flash floods, and five districts declared ‘calamity areas’ by authorities.
Saifal Panhyar, a farmer from Khairpur in Sindh, said his family were lucky to escape as their house collapsed when the floods engulfed his village. Now, Khairpur is under five feet of water and acres of cotton crops have been lost. Panhyar said: “Our land is our sole source of income and the crops were just ready to be harvested but the continuous rain and now the flood water has badly damaged them.”
Some of the areas affected are still recovering from last year’s flooding. The British Red Cross has been working with the Pakistan Red Crescent and International Red Cross to prepare for this year’s monsoon rains, getting aid into the most vulnerable areas, ready to be dispatched when the floods struck.
Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said: “Over the last few months, we’ve used £1.7 million, donated by the Department for International Development (DfID), to pre-position the kind of immediate relief supplies required for just such an emergency as this. The emergency goods, such as tents, tarpaulins, hurricane lamps and wood-burning stoves are currently being distributed to those in need in Sindh province.”
The risk of diseases spreading is high as 300,000 people have fled to the temporary relief camps, but are living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Sanitation facilities are scarce and there is a lack of safe drinking water. Pakistan Red Crescent has sent five mobile health units to provide emergency health support in six districts, including in the relief camps in Badin, Mirpurkhas and Benazirabad. Water treatment plants are up and running into two districts, and have produced over 300,000 litres of safe water. Food parcels and other aid such as tents, tarpaulins and kitchen sets have been provided to over 100,000 people so far across the area.
The British Red Cross Disaster Fund helps communities prepare for and recover from disasters. The fund is open for donations, which are distributed according to where the need is greatest, here in the UK or overseas, and cannot be restricted to particular countries. www.redcross.org.uk/disasterfund
B-roll available, showing flood conditions, plus Red Crescent health team in village, and water treatment. For download and shotlist go here:
For interviews or information, please call Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 firstname.lastname@example.org or try the pager 07659 145 095
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk
Notes to editors
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.