- Title: PAKISTAN: Flood victims flock to relief camps after losing homes
- Date: 2nd July 2010
- Summary: WOMAN WIPING HER EYES
- Embargoed: 17th July 2010 13:00
- Location: Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Social Services / Welfare
- Reuters ID: LVA4Y6WBRP14C0N8DJKBIAL7GB2W
- Story Text: Flood victims in Pakistan have flocked to relief camps for help and shelter after losing their homes and property in the worst floods in decades.
Several camps, offering food and medicine, have sprung up in the country's northwest Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province (KPK), especially in the provincial capital, Peshawar.
Peshawar - a city of three million - and surrounding towns remained cut off from the rest of the country on Sunday (August 1) because floodwaters had submerged sections of the Islamabad-Peshawar highway and other main roads.
Dozens of bridges across northwest Pakistan have also been destroyed in the floods.
Relief camps have been set up in schools and community centres by various provincial and relief organisations but many villagers waiting in the camps complained they had exhausted their food and drinking water supplies and had no clothes for their children.
"I have come from Jabba (one of the villages worst hit by the floods). We have lost everything. We could not save anything. We have no shoes, even for the children. No clothes - the children are naked. When the children cry for food, these people say it will be provided according to a time schedule. We only want shoes and clothes, nothing else," said one woman waiting outside a medical camp set up by the provincial government.
Aid agencies said more than 500,000 people had been affected by the flash floods and landslides in the northwest, with women and children the most at risk.
Health officials said there was now a real danger of the spread of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, asthma, skin allergies and perhaps cholera in these areas while UNICEF officials expressed concerns that contaminated flood waters and lack of clean water could increase the risk of the spread of diarrhoeal diseases.
Children under five are especially vulnerable to dehydration from diarrhoea. With more than 40 percent of the population under 18 years of age, the number of children affected could be in the hundreds of thousands, they said.
The death toll from the floods was reported to have risen to 1,100 on Sunday as rescue workers struggled to save more than 27,000 people still trapped on the roofs of buildings and mud huts.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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