‘Nobody cares about us’: Death and despair as Pakistanis flee homes amid devastating floods

World

It’s simply so overwhelming and it’s hard to put into words. Pakistan is drowning.

An area of land that is the equivalent of the whole of the UK is under water.

Our team is witnessing a mass exodus of people made homeless in their own homeland. But there’s nowhere to go, there is water everywhere.

These people have been on the move for days. Their children are all ill but, there’s no money for a doctor or medication.

A flood victim stands amid the damages of his house, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Nowshera, Pakistan August 31, 2022. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
Image:
A flood victim stands amid the damages of his house in Nowshera, Pakistan

Pakistan officials are unequivocal, they believe this is a very real consequence of climate change.

Its citizens have been experiencing extreme weather conditions, starting with a heatwave which caused glaciers to melt in the north and now a monster monsoon.

Some people have managed to stay at least close to where they once lived and called home. They work on these fields.

More on Pakistan

Radha told us: “We almost drowned, we managed to escape here and are really anxious. We almost lost the smaller children as the water besieged us.”

It’s a huge agricultural expanse of land and now it’s an island. They are surrounded by water and muddy bogs – you cannot even walk through it to get to the main road.

As we were driving we saw an entire village of people wading through the water. They had tied their beds to tyres as makeshift rafts. Abandoning their homes, they salvage what they can.

A boy lies on a cot near his flood-hit home, in Charsadda, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Officials in Pakistan raised concerns Wednesday over the spread of waterborne diseases among thousands of flood victims as flood waters from powerful monsoon rains began to recede in many parts of the country. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Image:
A boy lies on a cot near his flood-hit home, in Charsadda, Pakistan

While passing, Mashook said: “We don’t even have a boat to save our belongings. We’ve just picked up what we can and carried it ourselves. We’ve been ruined, we’re homeless”.

They don’t know where they are going or what they will do. People have not just lost their homes but their livelihoods too. And they are frustrated. The aid is not coming through.

Read more:
Satellite images and maps show scale of disaster in Pakistan
Pakistan’s climate minister says ‘gargantuan’ relief effort is overstretching resources

Sat on the side of the road, a woman named Balkees told me: “Everybody has lost their livelihoods, our youngsters are all educated but can’t work now. What are we to do? We’re poor people. Nobody cares about us.”

Earlier, Pakistan’s climate change minister told Sky News that the flooding was stretching the country “to the max” and that more help was urgently needed.

The people here in Sindh, like millions of others up and down the country, are finding what little dry land they can on riverbanks, in muddy fields and on roadsides.

For now, this is home.

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