Pakistan – One year on from the floods – Water Aid

It’s been a year since Pakistan was hit by the worst floods in its history. At least 18 million people were affected, from Swat in the north to Sindh in the south. Across the country there was massive infrastructure damage and individuals struggled simply to find food. Shoot the Earth photographer Asim Hafeez based in Pakistan visited Sindh province and met some of the people still living in the shadow of the disaster for Water Aid.

One year on from the worst floods in Pakistan’s history, 12-year-old Nazima holds a photograph of her mother Lalan, 38, who died from diarrhoea and kidney problems as a result of drinking contaminated water after the disaster. Dinho Malah Faqeer Goth village, Sindh province.

Nazima, now an orphan, continues to live in a temporary shelter provided by aid agencies in the aftermath of the floods, taking care of her three brothers and the household. A total of 20 million people were displaced and more than 2,000 lost their lives.

n preparation for the heavy rains of this year’s monsoon season, a labourer repairs a portion of the river bank in Gul Hasan Shaikh village, in Thatta, where WaterAid has been working to ensure access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in flood-affected communities.

Bheem Jee, 42, teaches at the government primary school in Gul Hasan Shaikh where WaterAid has installed biosand water filters and permanent toilet facilities. “The school building was submerged to the top by flood water. Furniture was floating outside. The building got damaged and we had no clean drinking water. Now we have facilities I hope we will be saved from water-borne diseases.

Maryam Ishaque is now able to give her one-year-old son Arbab Ali clean water. Born during the flood last year, both mother and son suffered repeated illness after the polluted flood waters engulfed their village. “We got shifted on the embankment where I gave birth. It was a very hard time for me. We were under open sky. I spent Rs.7000(£50) on my treatment. We had no money at that time, so my husband had to borrow.

A lady health worker, Asia Manzoor, teaches essential hygiene lessons to children, such as nail cutting and hand washing with soap.

If you would like to commission an assignment in Pakistan please contact Katherine Miles at Shoot the Earth.

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