Intense flooding has decimated much of Pakistan, with nearly a third of the country flooded. The “super floods,” as this year’s monsoon rains have been called, have swept the country since June, displacing millions. Rivers and dams have overflowed, flooding villages, roads and other important infrastructure.
Nearly 33 million people have been displaced by the recent floods, 16 million of which are children. The death toll is approximately 1,545, including 552 children. Livestock and farmland were also destroyed, jeopardizing food and income sources for families.
In addition to the initial death toll of the floods, officials are worried about diseases causing countless more deaths. Diseases such as dengue fever, cholera and other diarrheal diseases that spread from contaminated water are expected to afflict many more children. Without immediate intervention, the death toll is expected to rise.
Additionally, thousands of schools have been destroyed in the floods. This critical component of infrastructure is another reason young children in Pakistan are most at risk after the floods. With homes and schools destroyed, many children and families have nowhere to go. Many displaced individuals and families have taken refuge in tents. Power in many villages has been cut off to keep people safe, but it has left villages in the dark, according to the New York Times.
This extreme rainfall is a direct result of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions, according to scientists. Additionally, glacial melt was a factor in the recent flooding, according to the New York Times. Officials in Pakistan caution that it could take three to six months for floodwaters to recede.
Organizations such as UNICEF are accepting donations to help support children in need after the floods. UNICEF is providing safe water, food, mosquito nets, medicine and vaccines and water purification tablets. However, due to destroyed transportation infrastructure, many communities remain inaccessible. Some communities are surrounded by water, relying on boats to access larger towns that may have aid or provisions that they can buy. Prices, however, for supplies have increased everywhere.