Aug 29, 2022
Thousands told to evacuate as Pakistan rivers rise Transcript
Nearly 1,000 people have died since June, while thousands have been displaced and millions more affected. Read the transcript here.
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Maryam Moshiri: (00:00)
There have been more deaths in Pakistan as flooding worsens in parts of the country. There’s been little let up in the rains and the government has told people to take refuge on higher ground. Nearly a thousand people have been killed in rain and flooding across the country since June. The BBC’s Richard Galpin reports.
Richard Galpin: (00:19)
It’s here in the southern provinces of Pakistan that the 10 days of heavy rain have had the biggest impact. Floods sweeping away people, their homes, and belongings.
Speaker 3: (00:33)
[foreign language 00:00:33].
Here was my house. My entire life savings are gone.
We were told that a concrete wall would be built to protect us from the river. So we built a house. But the promise was not fulfilled.
Richard Galpin: (00:46)
It’s estimated more than 900 people have lost their lives in the last three months. Those who’ve survived the torrents of water, now finding higher ground where at least they can be a bit safer. For many, tents are their only shelter.
Asif Sherazi: (01:03)
Shelter is a big issue. Water and sanitation, and the need is growing, especially when the whole villages are washed away and people are living in a makeshift arrangements, either in the government buildings or schools or their relatives. And the situation is not improving. More and more humanitarian assistance is required.
Richard Galpin: (01:26)
From the air the scale of what’s happened in this region is very clear. And it’s thought the worst is far from over. Many people here can only hope that the rainstorms gradually diminish. Richard Galpin, BCC News.
Maryam Moshiri: (01:45)
Well, our correspondent Pumza Fihlani has just visited Sindh province and sent us this update.
Pumza Fihlani: (01:51)
Sindh province has been one of the worst affected by the floods. People’s homes have been washed away across the province. We’ve come to one village though, where the response to that has been different. The people of this community have decided that they are not going anywhere. They’re staying put. There’s one reason for that. They say everything they own is on this compound. One of the things they’re referring to is that herd of kettle over there. They’re saying, if they leave them, then everything is truly lost.
Pumza Fihlani: (02:18)
Another thing is some of the contents of their house. They’re saying at least here they know that everything is still intact. Speaking of the houses though, the foundations have been eroded by the rain and are currently unlivable. But they offer some shade. So during the day they will try and tuck away there for a few minutes.
Pumza Fihlani: (02:37)
This is a family of about 70 people. Most of them are children. They’ve said that a number of them cannot swim. So it is risky to try and get them into the water. They’ve told me it’s not ideal to be living here, but it beats being out in the street, in the open. At least here, they know that everyone is accounted for, and they know that all their belongings are still intact.
Maryam Moshiri: (02:58)
The BBC’s Sahar Baloch is in Islamabad and has more now on how climate change may have played a part in the disaster.
Sahar Baloch: (03:05)
After 2010, this is one of the biggest disasters that has happened because in 2010, what actually worked at that point of time was that most of these areas were connected and there were network connections as well. So it was easy to reach those people. Those areas were accessible. But in this case, the disaster is much more. It rained much more than how it did back in 2010. So this time around, the scale of the disaster has also increased.
Sahar Baloch: (03:30)
So what’s the biggest problem right now is that not many in the government actually took climate change as seriously as they should have. Because we did get a lot of reports from Gilgit-Baltistan, which is up in the north about weather changing and glaciers drying up and et cetera. But nothing much was done at that point of time. And this time around as well, the dams when they were opened, not many people were actually alerted to that as well. So climate change along with some carelessness on the part of the authorities is what caused this disaster to a very large extent.