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October 3, 2022

People looking for valuables in debris of destroyed houses in Panjpai, Balochistan.


August 2022 was not like anything we saw before. Just three months back, the country witnessed murderous heatwaves with extremely high temperatures followed by devastating monsoon flooding like a bolt from the blue.

I started following the trail of destruction beginning from Panjpai in Balochistan where the poor became poorer after the flash flooding swept away everything that was on the ground. While speaking to the locals, I was informed that the elders haven’t seen anything like this in the last 7 decades.

I felt somber and gloom in the air as people moved wood logs and bricks to find some valuables left. With foreheads etched with worry lines, I saw uncertainty over the faces of men and women who lost their fortunes.

Continuously Growing and Long-term Needs


Villagers crossing flood water in DI Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Being a leading humanitarian organization, we are always prepared for disasters and emergencies; however, for something like this, no country in South Asia is prepared. The crisis is superlative in nature with roughly 33 million affected. Being an aid worker myself for the last 20 years, I was quickly able to foresee the long-term effects of a harrowing disaster.

My analysis confirmed my fears as rains poured in on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. In a week, I was traveling again but this time to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where mass migrations to safer places were initiated. Yet again, it was flooding and the water left behind debris and muck.

On the motorway towards Peshawar, there was a queue of tents being pitched right on the green belt. Drenched in sweat and tanned with harsh sunlight, the mercury was high enough to make anyone sick. I saw women and children running behind vehicles for food.

Losses beyond Estimations


People have made temporary shacks beside a stream of flood water in Mirpur Khas, Sindh.


The losses were unimaginable with people losing livelihoods and their houses to the merciless water. With looming threats of food scarcity, floods cost 10 billion USD to the country. Thousands of acres of farmland have been submerged under water destroying crops.

While on my way to Mirpur Khas in Sindh, I never lost the sight of water with families on roads with cattle and whatever they managed to keep during evacuations. The locals were expecting a bumper crop this year; however, all submerged in water now with no signs of receding. Malnourished children and pregnant women had nothing to eat.

Sindh being no stranger to disasters was the worst hit as many areas were disconnected from other parts of the country. Thousands of people got stranded who were unable to leave their villages in time. I believe that the challenge of rebuilding is daunting and the crisis will increase poverty.

While visiting villages in a boat, the strong odor of stagnant water under the blazing sunlight was making it unbearable to breathe. The water had been breeding diseases which added to the miseries of the local communities. The treetops and the house roofs were the only visible things above the surface of the water.  

Islamic Relief in Action


Islamic Relief’s staff is distributing aid on boats in Sindh.


Making use of our strategic presence, geographic spread, and ability to reach the unreached; Islamic Relief started carrying out relief activities in all the affected provinces simultaneously.  Owing to the most immediate needs, we have been on- ground soon after the floods with lifesaving aid like shelters, cash grants, kitchen utensils, and hygiene items.

The water is posing serious threats to the local communities in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of water-borne diseases. No government and aid agency can singlehandedly tackle such a catastrophe alone. We are working closely with UN agencies, our partners, donors and local governments to reach as many people as we can. Till now, we have reached more than 400,000 individuals meeting their immediate needs.

Islamic Relief aims to continue with long-term rehabilitation and lead the process of rebuilding lives and livelihoods together with other actors and partners.

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