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Oxfam provides clean water in flood-hit Pakistan

Oxfam provides clean water in flood-hit Pakistan

August 2, 2010

Oxfam is hoping to reach 400,000 people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies. The agency is responding now and will also help boost recovery over the long-term.

The international agency is trucking water and installing tanks to help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases amongst the estimated 1 million people affected.

“This is the worst flooding in living memory and it’s likely to get worse as rivers and dams reach dangerous levels," said Oxfam’s Pakistan Director Neva Khan. "Whole villages have been swept away and villages south of the devastated area in Sindh may be hit in the coming days.

“Huge swathes of the country are under an ocean of contaminated water. The risk of water-borne disease is high if we do not act fast. We are going to be providing hundreds of thousands of people with clean water and building emergency toilets. We are moving fast with supplies we had ready for such an emergency in-country.”

People in the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan hit by the catastrophic floods were only just recovering from the conflict that forced them from their homes last year, Khan said.

"We are now in a race against time to avert a public health disaster. The countryside is drowning in an ocean of contaminated water. The very young are at risk of going down with severe diarrhea. Given the lack of food, the displacement and their vulnerability, a bout of diarrhoea could be a death sentence.  

“Oxfam is particularly worried about families in the Swat Valley because people were only just recovering from the crisis last year. People were forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and had just started to return home and rebuild some sense of normalcy – and then this happened. The floods are catastrophic.

“Those affected were already vulnerable and mostly poor and now they’ve been made homeless and in need of help once again.  

“People desperately need clean water, food, shelter and healthcare.

“We had contingency supplies in country so were able to respond very quickly but lack of electricity is causing us real problems. We’re not able to pump water off the mains so have supplied generators and are doing quick fix repairs to water systems that have been destroyed.”

“The rains are very heavy indeed. Whenever it rains the levels rise so fast.

“There are queues and queues of people waiting for clean drinking water. Oxfam is trucking water in mobile water tanks to reach people who have been living in contaminated sludge for days.”

“Our staff and partners have years of experience providing relief in the most difficult emergencies and we are already there working round the clock to reach those cut off from help,” Khan said.  

You can help Oxfam Canada provide assistance to people affected by disasters like the floods in Pakistan by donating to our Emergency Response Fund. Our Emergency Response Fund enables us to take action the moment a major disaster hits around the world.

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