Pakistan weeps…

Prayers needed for this country of 230 million…

Photo: UNICEF Pakistan

Sajid Ali, a cotton farmer whose six acres of crop worth 7500$ was drowned in the torrential monsoon rain that continues wreaking havoc in Pakistan for more than forty five days, lamented the loss as he looked over his ravaged field, still doused in 4 feet of water. Masoo Burburi, a small village in Sindh, to which these devastated cotton fields belonged, house some 60 farming families, all of who have sustained considerable losses. The devastation in Sindh brought 375mm of rain.

Pakistan has seen its fair share of natural tragedies before. In 2010 there was severe flood. In 2012 too food shortage had been a result of the rain that had swept away the crops in Sindh. This year however Pakistan faced destruction on an unprecedented scale. The otherwise 2–3 cycles of monsoon had been disrupted by an aberrant pattern of 7–8 cycles for which the infrastructure was underdeveloped. Breaking a 30 year average, Pakistan witnessed 133% more rains than it normally sustains. Balochistan witnessed a 289% increase in rain.

Sajid Ali’s loss is undoubtedly severe, but since 4th August 2022, there has been a gap of no more than seven days between the continuous rainfall. The downpour on 16th August destroyed the scenic beauty in Haripur, Hazara in Northern Pakistan and families were driven out of their homes, dispossessed, searching for anything they could find, drowned in 107mm of water. Thousands of livestock animals succumbed to the flood resulting in an estimate five-month food insecurity.

But Pakistan faced its worst rain outcome today, on 26th August when a glacier burst open, adding water to the already flooding regions of Swat, Dir, and Chitral, destroying mosques, resorts, civilian houses. A group of four friends in Kohistan, who awaited aid on a rock caught on all sides by incoming torrents for six hours, were plunged into the water depths.

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