DISASTROUS FLOODS IN SINDH

In 2022, Pakistan experienced its most devastating monsoon rains, leading to extensive flooding that persisted from June to September. This natural disaster inundated approximately one-third of the country, affecting the lives of around 33 million people. Among the regions most severely impacted was the southeastern province of Sindh, which, unfortunately, is particularly susceptible to such catastrophic events due to its geographical location, socioeconomic vulnerabilities, and prevailing climatic conditions

Sindh, home to a population exceeding 56 million, plays a pivotal role in Pakistan’s economy. The province contributes a substantial 27% to the nation’s GDP and plays a significant part in ensuring Pakistan’s food security. Sindh is a major producer of livestock products, and its livestock sector alone contributes a remarkable 62% to the national agricultural GDP. Furthermore, agriculture in Sindh accounts for approximately 70% of total employment in the province, serving as a vital source of income and livelihood for the local population.

The devastating floods of 2022 disproportionately impacted Sindh, causing extensive damage to residences, transportation networks, agricultural lands, irrigation systems, and communication infrastructure. Even now, millions of people in the province remain in dire need of assistance. According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, a joint effort by the World Bank and the UNDP under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, supported by the Asian Development Bank, European Union, and other UN agencies, the estimated recovery and reconstruction needs for Sindh following the floods amount to a staggering US$7.9 billion, the highest among all the provinces in Pakistan.

The agriculture and food sector bore the brunt of the 2022 floods, resulting in increased food prices, food shortages, and disruptions in employment and livelihoods. Over 4.4 million acres of agricultural land were rendered unproductive. Irrigation and flood protection systems that served more than half a million farmers across 5.1 million hectares of farmland suffered severe damage. The floods also caused significant losses in the livestock sector, including the drowning of animals and damage to related infrastructure. Approximately 249,000 livestock, including cattle and poultry, were lost, amounting to a staggering value of US$117.3 million.

The extensive damage to roads and transportation infrastructure has hindered mobility, disrupted livelihoods, impeded trade and commerce, and limited access to essential services such as healthcare and education. The annual monsoon season further deteriorates road conditions, and frequent urban flooding compounds the issue by submerging and eroding paved roads. In fact, around 60% of the road network in the province is currently in poor condition, posing a significant challenge to recovery and reconstruction efforts.

The Sindh Graduates Association (SGA) has demonstrated an exemplary response to the call for assistance during the recent crises, activating a massive force of over 10,000 volunteers across its network of 100 branches throughout Sindh. From the outset of the emergencies, SGA volunteers have remained tirelessly mobilized within their respective communities, providing immediate and effective response, relief, and simultaneously spearheading efforts for rehabilitation, medical care, health and hygiene, and shelters, all while ensuring regular supplies of both prepared and raw food to the affected communities across Sindh

Rapid Response and Mobilization:

SGA’s rapid response in activating such a large number of volunteers across Sindh reflects a robust and coordinated effort to address the pressing needs of the affected communities. The immediate mobilization of volunteers right from day one showcases the association’s commitment to swift and impactful emergency response.

Community Engagement and Support:

The volunteers, deeply rooted in their respective communities, have provided essential support and aid. Their local presence and understanding of community needs have facilitated a more efficient and targeted response, directly catering to the requirements of the affected populace

Diverse Aid Provision:

SGA’s response has been multifaceted, addressing various essential needs. Volunteers have played a pivotal role in delivering not only immediate relief in terms of food supplies but also in providing support for rehabilitation efforts, medical assistance, and ensuring proper health and hygiene practices. Furthermore, the provision of shelter to those displaced by the crises has been a critical aspect of their relief efforts.

Sustainable Aid and Rehabilitation:

The association’s approach extends beyond immediate relief, focusing on the long-term rehabilitation of the affected communities. Their commitment to sustained aid ensures ongoing support for these communities in their journey towards recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of the crises.

Continuous Support and Care

The consistent efforts of the volunteers reflect a dedicated commitment to ensuring that the affected populations receive not only timely and critical aid but also ongoing care and support. The regular supply of food, both prepared and in raw form, underscores their dedication to meeting the basic needs of the communities affected by the crises.

SGA’s extensive volunteer network and their swift, effective response have significantly lessened the burden on the affected communities across Sindh. Their tireless efforts in providing multifaceted aid, from immediate relief to sustainable support, have played a crucial role in helping these communities cope with and recover from the devastating effects of the crises.

Emergency Relief Cell – Established to help the affected people:

The Sindh Graduates Association is always ready to help during any natural disaster. In the recent heavy rains and floods of 2022, severe damage was done to various parts of Sindh. To provide relief to the affected SGA established a relief center to assist affected people, especially in the Kachho area, where the embankment of Gaj Dam was breached, causing widespread devastation. Those affected by this were instructed to seek assistance from the relief center, with tents set up for them. This marked the beginning of a prolonged period of heavy rains, affecting most of the province, with 72 hours of continuous rainfall causing significant destruction. This situation led to a loss of human lives, damage to agriculture, displacement of livestock, and damage to homes and infrastructure. The affected individuals faced hardship and distress.

In response to this situation, the Sindh Graduates Association initiated a relief effort through its center. They allocated resources for relief materials, medical camps, and medication to support the affected people. As the heavy rains continued and more individuals were affected, SGA extended its assistance to other cities in Sindh. Various relief camps were established in different cities to help those who needed shelter