Relief efforts are still continuing one year after the catastrophic flood in Pakistan. Deutsche Welle spoke with Hans Steinmann from the German aid organization, GIZ, about Germany’s efforts.
DW-WORLD.DE: It has been one year since the terrible flood in Pakistan. What is your assessment of the areas that were hit?
Hans Steinmann: I can’t speak for the whole of Pakistan in general. Each province is coping differently. In northwestern Pakistan life is pretty much back to normal. Crops are being planted and people have moved back into their villages. Reconstruction work is underway, but it will take a while for everything to get back to where it was before the flood. People are back in their houses but many of the dwellings are still covered with tarps as their roofs are have not been replaced. Further south, like in the Punjab and especially in Sindh Province, it is another story. These provinces were partly covered with water until April or May because there was no drainage system. Many people there are still homeless; they live in camps and cannot work their fields because much of the land still resembles a swamp. There is a shortage of food as a result, but no real food crisis. The distribution of relief is ok but not optimal. Reconstruction work is coming along very slowly in these provinces.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has distributed water filters and mosquito nets. Have you been able to reach all of the affected regions?
No, not really. Many different aid organizations have been active in distributing aid in Pakistan since the flood. We have been working with others – civic groups, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other UN entities – and trying to coordinate relief and distribution efforts. We have been able to reach about 10,000 families with our water filters. If you count five people per family, that means we have reached around 50,000 people. Of course that is not enough, as many more people still need help. But we have tried to expand our efforts by working with other groups by, for example, setting up water treatment facilities in the towns that can be used by everyone. That would ensure that everybody has clean water to drink. Drinking water is still a huge problem in Pakistan and it is going to get worse with the next monsoon.
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