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Flood Affected Districts in Pakistan- OCHA Situation Report


This report was issued by UNOCHA Pakistan. It covers the period from 25 to 27 August.

I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

The flood situation in southern Sindh continues to deteriorate; large-scale population movements have been reported following the breach of an embankment in Thatta district on 26 August.

  • An additional coordination hub is planned in Hyderabad to support scaled up response in southern Sindh.
  • Though the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) is now 64% funded, coverage has been uneven; WASH and health clusters, both key priorities at this point, are just 28% and 43% covered respectively.

II. Situation Overview

The Government continues to report 17.2 million people as having been affected by the floods. The death toll  has now reached 1,600, with 2,366 people confirmed as injured. Over 1.2 million houses have either been  damaged or destroyed (all figures from provincial and national disaster management authorities).

The flooding situation in southern Sindh continues to deteriorate, in particular in Thatta district, where the  River Indus enters the Arabian Sea. Pressure on embankments south of Kotri has grown in recent days and a major breach occurred near the town of Sarjani on 26 August. A number of villages in the area were inundated and district authorities ordered evacuation of Sujawal, Mirpur Bathoro, Shah Bundar and Jatitalukas (tehsils) along the eastern side of the Indus. Daro town on the western side of the river was also
inundated. Late last night the District Coordinator ordered the evacuation of Thatta city itself. Media reports indicate that 70% of the residents of these areas may have left their homes, moving towards Thatta, Hyderabad, Badin to the north, or Karachi to the west.

Reports from Balochistan indicate growing needs in the worst affected areas, with major concerns in terms of food, shelter, health and water. Gastroenteritis, acute diarrhea and skin infections are among the principal health issues. Security considerations in the province constrain the ability of the humanitarian community to scale up as rapidly as is required.

Flood waters in Punjab are reported to be receding, with a significant breach in an embankment close to Taunsa barrage now repaired and water draining from severely-affected Muzzafargarh district. The Pakistan Army reports having commenceddistribution of 200,000 family ration packs from 25 August in Muzzafargarh, D.G. Khan, Rajanpur, Layyah and R.Y. Khan districts, in parallel with distributions by the provincial
government. The Army’s efforts in Punjab in the coming weeks will focus on emergency repairs to roads, irrigation, flood protection and railway infrastructure, in partnership with relevant government departments.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, monsoonal activity is likely to remain subdued during the next four days as the monsoon current weakens. Mainly dry and humid weather is expected in most parts of the country in the coming days. The Department’s Flood Forecasting Division reports that flood levels on the Indus at Kotri are exceptionally high, with a steady trend. Further upriver at Guddu and Sukkur, levels are high with a falling trend.

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) continues to advise all humanitarian staff to be aware of security risks in affected areas, including those directly related to the floods, such as violent demonstrations and aid-related crime. Further security information is available from UNDSS directly (contact details below).

III. Humanitarian Needs and Response

Agriculture

Needs: FAO has planned for provision of approximately 190,000 households with wheat seed, vegetable  seed and fertilizers for the September/October planting season, many of whom are in severely flood affected  districts. As many areas are still under water, it is uncertain to what extent land can be prepared in time to plant for the oncoming Rabi season. In lower areas of Sindh, it may take up to six to eight weeks before the  soil is fit for planting, most likely past the optimal sowing time. Loss of draught animal power will seriously compromise farmer’s ability to prepare land. Silt deposited on fields, in places considerably deeper than can be ploughed, will also make it difficult to clear fields in time for sowing crops next month. It will require medium to heavy machinery to remove the silt deposits in some areas. In higher areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), the top layer of fertile soil has been washed away, rendering the soil barren and less productive.

Response: Rapid agriculture sector damage assessments are ongoing in several provinces, including Balochistan, to get a clearer picture of preliminary livestock losses and surviving livestock needs.

Gaps and Constraints: Given the extensive damage to the means of agricultural production – land, inputs, infrastructure and livestock – the funding requirements for agriculture will be significant in the revised response plan.

Camp Coordination and Camp Management

UNHCR is now leading the camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) cluster in Balochistan.

Service provision in the camps that have been set up is minimal so far. In Sindh, the Provincial Disaster

Management Authority (PDMA) is leading the cluster, with UNHCR co-chairing. Priorities are to ensure provision of basic health, WASH, food, shelter and other services in the camps, in coordination with other clusters. The CCCM cluster will also ensure appropriate management mechanisms, in addition to technical support for the preparation and improvement of sites selected for camps, including by building the capacity of government and NGO partners. A training session was carried out in Sukkur on 25 August. It has been noted that there are very few planned, formal camps in Sindh, and that most settlements have been set up in schools.

Education

Needs: There is a need to provide temporary school structures as well as school supplies including tents, school-in-a-box kits and recreation kits for fully damaged schools to ensure continuation of education during the transition period from tents to permanent buildings. An integrated approach to school improvement is needed which addresses all key factors influencing the quality of education for both boys and girls, including food incentives, school feeding for all children, better health and hygiene, proper use of school facilities by internally displaced persons (IDPs), school safety and provision of psychosocial support for children and teachers affected by the flood. Latest figures on schools damaged or used as IDP shelters are as follows:

Response: Establishment of temporary learning spaces and recreational spaces in relief camps has increased from 66 to 73, benefitting 12,150 children (Sindh – 5,700, Punjab – 60,00, Balochistan – 450). Rapid assessments of schools and personnel are ongoing throughout Punjab. The cluster will carry out a detailed education assessment in D.G. Khan, Rajanpur and Muzaffargarh in the coming days. Save the Children is facilitating a rapid assessment of flood-damaged schools in Bolan district (Kachi) in Balochistan through Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (BSDSB). For Sindh, a ‘Core Committee for Rapid Assessment’ was constituted on 25 August 2010. The Education Department and the World Bank-funded Reform Support Unit (RSU) have taken the lead role on assessment.

Gaps and Constraints: The cluster is working with the government and partners to ensure that education interventions are appropriately prioritised, but at this point immediate life-saving interventions are the focus of most stakeholders. Due to limited resources and access, needs assessment for the educational sector has begun only recently.

Food

Needs: Populations in areas affected by recent breaches of the Indus in southern Sindh are in urgent need of assistance. As results from rapid needs assessments continue to come in, and additional teams are fielded, it is likely that the numbers in need of food assistance will rise, particularly in Sindh.

Response: Food cluster coordination capacity is being scaled up in Hyderabad in response to ongoing flooding in the area. Since the emergency floods response was launched on 1 August, the cluster has provided monthly rations in 35 districts of KPK, Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK). Given the scale of the disaster, highest priority locations have been targeted for immediate interventions, though a planned scale up of the operation in September aims to meet the food needs of up to 6 million people. By 26 August, almost 2.2 million beneficiaries had been provided with more than 25,000 metric tons of food, including an additional 144,000 individuals reached yesterday. On 25 August distributions began in Barkhan in Balochistan. On 26 August, fortified high-energy biscuits were rapidly dispatched to evacuees in Thatta. On the same day, UNHAS helicopters made their first food deliveries to Muzaffargarh in Punjab, carrying ready-to-use supplementary food to feed almost 1,500 infants for one month.

Gaps and Constraints: While access obstacles are constraining scaling up of assistance in the immediate term, additional funding is now urgently required to allow for activities to be expanded beyond August that may address the totality of emerging needs and avoid gaps. The food cluster urges donors that have announced pledges to confirm their donations to ensure that sufficient food can by purchased and pre-positioned for September.

Health

Needs: Key concerns are ensuring access to health services, sustained supplies of medicines, vaccination against various communicable diseases (in particular for women and children under five) and restoration of public health facilities (almost 400 of which have been damaged or destroyed). Acute diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, skin diseases and suspected malaria remain the leading causes of health care consultations in flood-affected districts. In Balochistan and Sindh, a higher number of suspected malaria cases has been reported compared to either KPK or Punjab. A UNFPA assessment mission to Sukkur has observed that obstetric and newborn care services are needed. The mission has also observed increased levels of malnutrition and severe anemia among pregnant women and a need for scaled up promotion of breastfeeding.

Response: Health cluster partners, including health authorities, have treated 3.4 million people between 29 July and 25 August. Efforts are ongoing to establish additional diarrhea treatment centres (DTCs), with 52 now operating or in the process of being established in KPK, Punjab and Sindh. The cluster has distributed medicines sufficient to treat 2.6 million people in the past two weeks, including 100,000 treatments for people suffering from diarrhea. WHO dispatched 15.5 metric tons of health supplies and medicines to Sukkur since the last situation report, in addition to four water treatment units.A measles campaign started on 22 August.

526 teams visited affected areas of Swat, Charsadda, Peshawar and D.I.Khan, vaccinating 260,100 under five children against polio and 232,622 children (6-59 months) against measles. 234,616 children from 6-59 months received Vitamin A supplementation. In Sindh, more than 90,000 vaccinations have been conducted in flood-affected camps and 170 more vaccination teams are planned for affected districts as well as those hosting large numbers of evacuees, including Karachi.UNFPA has so far consulted a total of 44,799 patients providing both reproductive health and primary health care services. So far 950 deliveries have been conducted; and 5,599 antenatal and 1,286 post-natal consultations have been held.

Gaps and Constraints: Additional funding is required to scale up life-saving health interventions in affected areas. UNFPA has reported challenges in recruiting adequate numbers of female health care providers (especially gynecologists) in flood-affected districts.

Logistics

Response: Four UNHAS helicopters have been deployed and are operating from Multan. Additional helicopters are expected to arrive shortlyand the cluster is collecting requirements for locations to be served. All cluster participants are invited to forward operational/distribution plans and airlift requirements to pakistan.logs@logcluster.org. From 25 to 26 August the cluster coordinated the delivery of relief items to three new distribution points, expanding the areas reached through helicopter airlift operations in KPK and Punjab Provinces. Relief items were delivered from Ghazi to Dasu in Kohistan district (KPK) and from Multan to Kota Duu in Muzaffargarh district (Punjab). In Multan, the cluster has secured an 8,500m2 warehouse and will erect four additional Mobile Storage Units (MSUs) that are expected to be available for use by cluster participants by 30 August.

Gaps and Constraints: The principal logistics constraints continue to be access to populations cut off by floodwaters and landslides as well as damage to critical roads and bridges. There is a major need for additional air assets inside the country in order to reach areas inaccessible by any other means.

Nutrition

Needs: Children under five make up approximately 14% of the affected population (2,380,000), while 8% are pregnant and lactating women (PLW) (1,360,000). At least 6% are elderly or otherwise vulnerable (1,020,000). The cluster’s priorities for rapid nutrition assistance at this point are children under five and PLW. There is also a need to establish community-level acute malnutrition programmes in affected areas. Promotion of breastfeeding and prevention of donations of infant milk are additional priorities.

Response: With the arrival of some donor funds, procurement of emergency nutrition supplies for the rapid assistance of vulnerable children and PLW is underway. Already, using in-country stocks, 7,655 children and 25,466 PLW have been reached with supplementary food rations. 10,755 children and 2,824 PLW have received micro-nutrient supplementation. 3,538 children have been de-wormed and 5,611 mothers and community members have been sensitized on infant and young child feeding and hygiene practices. The cluster is actively monitoring possible use of breastmilk substitutes and has informed all relevant government departments of the importance of promotion, protection and support to breastfeeding in emergency situations.

Gaps and Constraints: A lack of funding for the second phase of nutrition programme (community and facility-based management of acute malnutrition in all the affected provinces) is a key constraint, as is quick availability of supplementary and therapeutic feeding supplies. Other challenges include high air freight charges, inaccessibility of some of the worst-affected districts and a shortage of trained nutrition specialists in the country.

Protection

Needs: The same protection needsreported in the last situation report persist. In Sindh there are concerns in particular about aid distribution methods that do not adequately reach out to vulnerable groups, the increasing number of IDPs gathered around roads (and increasing number of road accidents) and the risk of involuntary movement of IDPs to ensure that schools are vacated in time for the new school year (this issue is now being taken up by the shelter cluster).

Response: A dedicated protection coordination officer will be based in Sindh from 29 August. Work is ongoing to conduct protection assessments, map capacities and establish a protection network. 113 child-friendly spaces are now operating in KPK, Punjab, Balochistan and PAK providing more than 13,000 children with educational and recreational activities. 24-hour help-lines are operating in Peshawar, Mardan and Swabi (KPK) and Karachi (Sindh), providing counseling and referral services to children in women. More than 11,000 children and 900 women have been provided with psycho-social support. Out of 156 unaccompanied and separated children identified, 131 have been reunified with family members.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

Gaps: Analysis of assessment data and identification of gaps at provincial levels. In terms of child protection, there are an insufficient number of partners trained in child protection in emergencies in affected districts. Lack of resources means that child friendly spaces have yet to be established in Sindh province.

Shelter and NFIs

Needs: Based on the government figure of 1.2 million houses damaged and destroyed, emergency shelter coverage countrywide is estimated to be 13%. There are large needs for shelter in all affected provinces, but in particular in Sindh and Punjab; coverage in each is 4%. The growing number of people and areas affected means that well-targeted and fully coordinated distributions are increasingly important. Local organizations with capacity in Punjab and Sindh have requested shelter and relief items for distribution. With people now beginning to return to their homes in areas where waters are beginning to recede, there is an urgent need for a strategy for early recovery and transitional shelter to support these returns. Some tents will need to be winterized in the weeks ahead.

Response: The cluster has so far distributed over 115,500 tents and 88,000 tarpaulins (over 153,800 households served). Cluster members have also distributed 2,123 tool kits, 252,600 blankets, 59,700kitchen sets and 83,800 units of bedding/mats. 94,500 tents and 517,000 tarpaulins are in the pipeline, as well as 8,100 tool kits, 155,850 kitchen sets and 343,000 units of bedding/mats. UNHCR reports having distributed 5,610 tents, 1,670 plastic sheets, 5,472 kitchen sets and 3,544 mosquito nets in Balochistan. UNHCR has engaged additional implementing partners to speed up deliveries in Peshawar Valley and Lower and Upper Dir in KPK. Daily updates on distributions to date, coverage, projected coverage and outstanding gaps are available on the shelter cluster website: http://www.shelterpakistan.org. A Technical Working Group meeting took place in Peshawar on 27 August to finalise guidelines and transitional shelter parameters for KPK. The process will be repeated in other provinces in the coming days. The cluster is compiling designs of previous transitional shelter designs that will be shared via the cluster website.

Gaps and Constraints: Needs continue to outstrip available shelter materials and NFIs, even though more stocks are expected in the pipeline. Many areas still cannot be accessed by road.

WASH

Needs: While there continues to be a need for a complete package of WASH assistance across affected areas, immediate priorities at this point are ensuring the provision of safe drinking water (5 litres per person per day initially) and distributing soaps, in particular in Sindh and Punjab which continue to be underserved.

Response: The cluster has so far been able to ensure provision of drinking water to over 2.5 million people, through provision of tankered water and repair of tube wells in affected areas. The bulk of the beneficiaries are in KPK but the pace of response activities is picking up in other provinces. The cluster is also planning a blanket chlorination of water reservoirs in flood-affected areas. Various donors have now started bringing in offshore supplies including water purification units and aquatabs. These are being sent to the affected areas and are expected to lead to a rapid increase in WASH coverage.

Gaps and Constraints: As of 27 August, just 28% of the funding requirements set out in the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) are covered, restricting the capacity of the cluster to expand interventions. In-country supplies of WASH inputs is limited while procurement and transportation of WASH NFIs from abroad is taking time. The cluster is also facing challenges in finding experienced implementing partners, particularly in Punjab and Sindh.

IV. Coordination

The next General Coordination Meeting (GCM) in Islamabad will be held in the Humanitarian Coordination Centre (HCC) in the Serena Hotel on Friday 3 September at 10:30. Outside Islamabad, HCCs continue to operate in Peshawar (covering KPK), Multan (covering Punjab) and Sukkur (covering Sindh). Contact details of coordination focal points in each hub are below. Work is now ongoing to establish an additional coordination hub in Hyderabad, to cover the worsening situation in the southern Sindh. Further information on coordination is available on the response website: http://www.pakresponse.info/

Multi-Cluster Rapid Assessment Mechanism (MCRAM) teams are currently carrying out assessments in KPK, Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. Assessments are also ongoing in Sindh, despite challenges posed by population movements and worsening floods in parts of the province.

For details on visas on arrival for humanitarian workers, tax/duty free import of relief goods and obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for operations in flood-affected areas, please contact Nicki Bennett in OCHA Pakistan (contact details below). For details on security clearance for travel to restricted areas (which include all 7 FATA agencies, several flood-affected districts of Balochistan and D.G. Khan district in Punjab) please contact Alexander Hasenstab in OCHA Pakistan (contact details below).

V. Funding

According to figures reported to OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS), as of 25 August, 64%of funding requirements set out in the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) have been covered (US$292 million out of total requirements of US$459.7 million):

A fully revised version of the PIFERP will be launched during the third week of September, taking into account updated assessment results from all affected areas and addressing relief as well as early recovery needs.

Current PIFERP projects can be viewed, alongside detailed information on funds committed and pledged,on the FTS website, at:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fts.nsf/doc105?OpenForm&rc=3&emid=FL-2010-000141-PAK

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