Pakistan 2022 Floods Response Plan: 01 Sep 2022 – 28 Feb 2023 (Issued 30 Aug 2022)

Situation Overview

Pakistan has been enduring severe monsoon weather since June 2022, which saw area-weighted rainfall 67 per cent above normal levels in that month alone. As of 27 August, rainfall in the country is equivalent to 2.9 times the national 30-year average. This has caused widespread flooding and landslides, with severe repercussions for human lives, property and infrastructure. To date, 72 districts across Pakistan have been declared ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan. These numbers remain dynamic given the ongoing rains, and the number of calamity-declared districts is expected to increase.

Southern and central Pakistan have been most affected, particularly Balochistan and Sindh provinces. Balochistan has received 5.1 times its 30-year average rainfall as of 27 August, while Sindh’s is 5.7 times its 30-year average. Hill torrents occurred in Balochistan, Sindh and south Punjab, while most districts of Sindh were inundated, with water unlikely to recede soon. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the higher rainfall in Balochistan represents a change in the monsoon pattern, as the province is not usually affected by the monsoon.

The Government of Pakistan estimates that around 33 million people across the country are affected by the rains, floods and consequent impacts such as landslides. More than 421,000 refugees living in calamity-declared districts are also affected or at risk. As of 27 August, some 6.4 million people are estimated to need of assistance. According to the NDMA, between 14 June and 27 August at least 1,033 people were killed and 1,527 people injured, with numbers increasing as rains continue.2 Over 287,000 houses have been destroyed and over 662,000 partially damaged. Livelihoods are also being heavily impacted – more than 719,000 livestock – a critical source of sustenance and livelihoods for many families – have died, of which some 69 per cent are in Balochistan and 28 per cent in Punjab. Around 2 million acres of crops and orchards have also been affected to date, of which 304,475 acres are in Balochistan, 178,186 acres in Punjab and around 1.54 million acres in Sindh.

The humanitarian situation is being compounded by severe impacts to infrastructure. Damage to nearly 3,500 km of roads and 149 bridges has impeded the ability of people to flee to safer areas, as well as compromising the delivery of aid to people in need. Internet outages have also been reported, with the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority attributing widespread internet cuts in central and northern Pakistan on 19 August to technical faults in the fiberoptic network resulting from the heavy rains and floods. The humanitarian situation is likely to deteriorate further as heavy rains continue over areas already inundated by more than two months of storms and flooding. Flash floods and rain-induced landslides are compounded by the inability of existing infrastructure to cope with the extraordinary amount of water. Many rivers, including the Indus River which traverses the length of Pakistan, are at high flood warning level and/or have breached their banks, and major dam reservoirs are rapidly filling or already overflowing, posing further risk to people in the vicinity and downstream.

Pakistan is among the ten countries most affected by extreme weather events despite its very low carbon footprint, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 and Climate Watch. While national efforts are underway to support people affected by the ongoing rains and floods, international solidarity is crucial to adequately address the impacts.

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