Although several months have passed since Pakistan was hit by flooding, seven million people are still without homes in November 2010. Rebuilding is proceeding at a slow pace. Parts of the country are still submerged by floodwater. In other areas, the subsiding waters have left nothing behind but brown mud and rubble. Although around ten million people continue to be dependent on international aid, only eight million currently receive assistance, as the remaining two million are not reached by relief supplies.
In the immediate wake of the disaster, the most urgent need was for clean water and food. The Munich Re Foundation provided emergency aid through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA Germany), a member of the German Relief Coalition ADH, which erected a mobile drinking water treatment plant in the town of Shah Jamal in Muzaffagarh, a district in the southwest of the Punjab province. The plant supplied a total of 30,000 litres of water a day to a hospital and more than 6,000 people. But emergency aid is only the first step, because the impact of the natural disaster will continue to be felt for a long time to come. After all, an area of the size of Italy was inundated for several days. Apart from homes and infrastructure, enormous stretches of farm land were ravaged by the floods. It will take years or even decades – and international aid – to fully rebuild the country. Therefore, as a second step, projects should be launched to give people a long-term future in their own communities.
Thanks to many donations by Munich Re staff members and benefactors of the Munich Re Foundation, we will continue to be able to support the ADRA project. The next step will involve building wells with manual pumps for dozens of homes to provide Shah Jamal with water in the long term. The wells are in fact an improvement over the situation before the great flood.