According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, further heavy snowfall and rain have lashed parts of Balochistan this week injuring more people and causing destruction. Muslim Aid is there on the ground liaising with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and other humanitarian organisations to provide urgent assistance to the people affected by this disaster.
Balochistan was one of the worst-hit areas earlier this month [11-13 January], where more than 1,000 homes have been damaged. In total 107 people have died as a result of this emergency and 6,000 people are now displaced.
Rescue efforts are ongoing and major highways and link roads are being cleared in the affected provinces. However, access to remote areas is limited due to continuous rain and snow. The PDMA has rescued 3,000 people, including women and children. A few cases reported that people got stuck in the snow and died, with bodies found after 2 to 3 days.
Muslim Aid, which is providing emergency relief with food and winterised kits, says that many of the communities in Balochistan live in mud huts, so are particularly vulnerable to the damage and destruction from this adverse weather. Families displaced are currently being hosted by others in the community, but five medical camps have now been set up by the PDMA and there are plans to establish relief camps.
Qasim Ali Khawaja spokesperson at Muslim Aid Pakistan said: “Muslim Aid recognised the challenges caused by this state of emergency and immediately mobilised funds to respond to the extreme snowfall. Balochistan is facing recurring drought from the last couple of years, and subsequently, in winters this record spell of snowfall has crippled the life of the province – infrastructure damages, livestock destroyed and homes damaged.
“Families are now in dire need of food, warm clothing, cooking fuel, and other items to help them survive the harsh weather. In the absence of proper clothing, shelter and health care, children and the elderly are vulnerable to pneumonia and respiratory infections.
In addition to supporting the rescue efforts, Muslim Aid will be delivering food, water and essential household items. We will help repair water systems so that people have access to safe water and in the longer run, Muslim Aid will help affected families to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. “With worsening weather conditions predicted, this is a race against time to reach the worst affected communities.” Muslim Aid has now launched the Pakistan Winter Emergency. It costs just £90 to donate a ‘winterised kit’ which includes floor mats, mattress, pillows, shawls and a blanket.
Please help support families affected by this emergency - donate to muslimaid.org
Notes to Editors:
- For further information or down-the-line interviews with Qasim Ali Khawaja, spokesperson for Muslim Aid Pakistan on this emergency please contact email@example.com or call 07971 576917 2. Muslim Aid is a relief and development agency set up in the United Kingdom in 1985 to provide humanitarian assistance to disaster-affected countries and to help poor and vulnerable communities overcome poverty. Muslim Aid works with all communities irrespective of faith.