16 October 2012 (ReliefWeb) – Flash floods prompted by monsoon rains across Pakistan in the third week of August 2012 affected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) provinces, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ & K) state. A second spell of monsoon rainfall started over the southern parts of the country from the end of the first week of September, peaking on 9 and 10 September across Pakistan resulting in flooding across the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. The hardest hit districts in the first and second wave of the monsoon were Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan (Punjab), Kashmore, Jacobabad, Shikarpur (Sindh), Nasirabad and Jaffarabad, Killa Saifullah, Jhal Magsi and Loralai (Balochistan) with widespread loss of life, livelihoods and infrastructure recorded across the country. Many of the affected districts, particularly in Balochistan and Sindh, were already struggling to recover from the floods of 2010 and 2011. Currently river flows and weather are normal in all parts of the country. There is still flood water in parts of Kashmore, Jacobabad, and Shikarpur in Sindh and Jaffarabad and Nasirabad in Balochistan provinces covering almost 4,000 square kilometres with effects including contamination of water sources, disease outbreaks, infrastructural damage, and loss of livelihoods. Water-logged crop and grazing land will also have adverse consequences on the agro-based economy of the region and result in food deficits.
Preliminary findings from the joint government/United Nations Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) of five priority districts have identified food, emergency shelter, health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services as the immediate needs of the affected population. Review of data is underway to validate results and determine the gap and response modalities. While relief efforts are being scaled up by the government and other partners, many flood-affected communities are still to be reached with humanitarian assistance. Funding gaps and access are the main challenges on expanding the response.