Asia

Pakistan floods: Tens of thousands made homeless

  • 25 September 2012
  • From the section Asia
Flooding in Sindh province
Image caption Food supplies in many affected areas are running low

Tens of thousands of people have been made homeless by heavy monsoon flooding in the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan and Sindh, officials say.

About 120,000 homes have been destroyed and tens of thousands of tents are now being distributed.

Officials in Balochistan say that about 80% of the population is now affected.

However, correspondents say the floods are not on the same scale as those two years ago which devastated large parts of the country.

In Balochistan, the government has set up medical posts to treat gastric problems, malaria and other illnesses among 500,000 people who have been made homeless.

One meal a day

A BBC reporter who has been travelling through the province and in Sindh says that many people are now living in the open without shelter on whatever patch of dry ground they can find.

Officials say that food, tents and medicine are in short supply.

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province in size but ranks lowest in terms of infrastructure and services.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says that it is also a staging ground for militant activities - the kidnapping threat makes it almost impossible for aid agencies to operate effectively.

Our correspondent says that food supplies are so low in Balochistan that many people are surviving on one meal a day.

The army has been called in to help with the rescue operation even though it wants to pull out of a province used as a sanctuary by Taliban militants from fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Balochistan is also blighted by sectarian violence and is at the centre of an insurgency waged by ethnic Baloch separatists demanding more autonomy and a greater share of its natural resources.

The army says that aid supply is the responsibility of the government, but correspondents say that so far it is nowhere to be seen.

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