As the worst floods in Pakistan's history begin to subside, the country is beginning the long haul to recovery from the disaster.
As the worst floods in Pakistan's history begin to subside, the country is beginning the long haul to recovery from the disaster. For three weeks, the provinces of Punjab and Sind were ravaged by raging torrents, causing well over 300 million dollars (GBP 120 million sterling) in damage and destruction. Refugees are slowly returning to what is left of their homes, as roads and bridges are rebuilt. In all, wight million people were affected by the floods, ten thousand villages were under water, and more than half a million houses were destroyed.
The official death toll stands at 363, though United Nations relief officials in the country fear that disease resulting from the breakdown of sanitary facilities could multiply this figure several times. The main dangers are dysentery, typhoid, and malaria, which has returned in epidemic form The Government has set aside two million dollars (GBP 80,000 sterling) for the purchase of medicines and vaccines.
Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, visiting the disaster areas, assured the flood victims that all possible help would be given to enable them to lead a normal life once again. His Government has appealed to the international community for aid, and emergency donations have totalled some fifty million dollars (GPB 20 million sterling). The official estimate is that rehabilitation and reconstruction will take from three to six months.
SYNOPSIS: After three weeks of the worst flooding in its history, Pakistan is beginning to recover. Refugees are wading through the su???iding waters to return to what is left of their houses, in ten thousand villages in the provinces of Punjab and Sind.
Roads and embankments, washed away in the raging torrents, are being repaired, and the Government hopes to achieve rehabilitation and reconstruction within a period of three to six months. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has promised the flood victims to make available all possible aid to enable them to lead a normal life once again.
The devastation has affected eight million people and destroyed half a million houses. Damage is estimated at well over one-hundred and twenty million pounds sterling, and more than three hundred people have died. The Government has appealed for assistance to the international community, but has also emphasized the need for self-help. In the Jhelum district, seventy miles form Islamabad, villagers use the silt washed up by the floods as mortar to hold the bricks in their rebuilt homes. But though the floods have passed, an even worse peril - epidemics of malaria and typhoid is threatening the area.
Medicines and vaccines are being stocked in large quantities. Meanwhile, the international appeal has raised fifty million dollars, and the newly-returned refugees are being provided with clothing and food to tied them over the first stages of their homecoming. Though most aid came from other countries, the United Nationals and the Red Cross, some relief funds were raised inside Pakistan itself.