Five months after massive floods in Pakistan killed and displaced hundreds of thousands some parts of the country remain underwater. Sindh Province, located in Pakistan's southern region, still consists of areas that are inundated with 10 feet of water. Because Pakistan is now in its winter season, the ability for the land to soak up the flooding has dwindled.
"It's not a sponge anymore. The sponge is loaded, and on top of which we're in the winter season, so our evaporation rates have gone down," says Kamal Majidulla, a special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister.
Another reason parts of the country remain underwater and the recovery is slow is because of the lack of international aide, asserts Majidulla. He blames this on the tarnished image Pakistan has around the world, that depicts it as place of refuge for terrorists or other extremist groups. Even within Pakistan, the Pakistani military is hesitant to assist certain areas, such as Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, a place believed to be a safe haven for Taliban extremists.
"Initially, some groups did come with rations and food, but they disappeared. One of the reasons is, the location of this area is tribal-troubled, so people are not very willing to come and work in these parts," says a man who lives in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Farmers throughout Pakistan have begun to sew the land; however, much of it is no where near ready to grow crops. No where in Pakistan is the recovery from the floods great. But, of course, some places have faired much better than others. Some farmers have received government grants, seeds and fertilizer which have given them the opportunity to rebuild their farms and earn an income. Still, Pakistan, like other underdeveloped countries that have faced natural disasters, is months if not years away from normalcy.
"I saw on TV that, some places, the floods were so drastic, not only did people's crops and homes get washed away, but also their children. So, I'm thankful to God for sparing our lives."--Kala Khan
"The ability of the land to soak up that water is not there anymore. It's not a sponge anymore. The sponge is loaded, and on top of which we're in the winter season, so our evaporation rates have gone down." --Kamal Majidulla
1. On what continent does Pakistan reside?
2. What is a natural disaster?
3. How do floods occur?
1. Why is a quick response time crucial to the relief efforts immediately following a natural disaster?
2. Give a few examples of "relief aid" that would be helpful to those displaced by the floods in Pakistan.
3. Can you think of some natural disasters that have affected the United States? In what ways were they similar to the Pakistan floods? How were they different?