August 20, 2022
A young man attempting to save a minor boy who fell into a karez in Quetta’s Sariab area also tragically lost his life.
Mir Balach Nosherwani, who hailed from Kharan, saw the boy fall into the well while picking garbage. Balach followed in an attempt to save the child, but was also swallowed by the rainwater.
Relatives, friends and locals launched a rescue effort, while a rescue team of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) arrived at the spot three hours after receiving the alert. Both bodies were recovered after 14 hours through a collective effort, with two young Mastung men identified as Jalil Ahmed and Amir Hamza volunteering to retrieve the deceased.
Balach and the minor are yet more casualties of a natural disaster currently ripping through Pakistan, with authorities expecting figures to continue to rise.
In a situation report published on August 13, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that over 1 million people have been affected by heavy rains and flash floods across Pakistan this monsoon season. A total of 580 people, including 224 children and 114 women, have been reportedly killed while 939 injured, with the southern provinces suffering the worst.
This year’s monsoon season resulted in record-breaking rainfall with 133% more rain than in the past 30 years.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), some 107,000 livestock (including around 29,000 large ruminants) have died. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Food Security and Agriculture Working Group (FSAWG) has estimated that, as of August 13, over 1 million acres of standing crops have been damaged in floods.
According to the PDMA, in Balochistan alone, more than 200 people have died of whom 58 were children, while more than 10,000 have been displaced till date. Furthermore, an Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis of acute food insecurity has projected that over 955,000 people in flood-affected areas of Balochistan (Gwadar, Karan, Kech, Loralai, Nushki, Pangur, Pishin, Washuk and Zhob) will face severe food insecurity between July and November this year.
In addition to water and flood damage, people in affected areas are also grappling with water-borne diseases such as Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), respiratory tract infections (RTI), Malaria and skin infections.
Experts have pointed toward climate change as a major factor for the unprecedented precipitation levels in this year’s monsoon season, increased glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risk in the northern areas, and flash floods across the country, especially the southern provinces. However, they have also indicated that investment in developmental infrastructure, as well as effective rescue response by the provincial and federal authorities may have somewhat lessened the adverse impacts of flash floods and torrential rains.