Local authorities have failed to drain the lake. More than 100,000 people were evacuated over the weekend. The price of staple food rises fivefold. Pakistan’s food security in the coming months is at risk. AsiaNews continues its campaign in favour of flood victims.
Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistan's largest lake could soon burst its banks, putting at risk the life of thousands of people after local authorities tried, unsuccessfully, to drain it.
Lake Manchar is located in Sindh, south-eastern Pakistan, one of the provinces most affected by recent floods. Two rural towns have already been flooded by its waters, forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people over the weekend.
Local authorities told Reuters yesterday that water levels have not fallen, declining to say whether further attempts would be made in order to try to avoid a catastrophe.
At present, with a third of the country submerged by heavy rains, some 400 rural towns in Sindh are at risk. Satellite images in late August show how the flooded areas look more like a lake.
More than 1,300 people have died so far, including more than 450 children, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency reported.
Following a heat wave that melted glaciers in previous months, monsoon rains poured more water downstream. Damages have been estimated to be in excess of US$ 10 billion.
The main concern now is food shortages after the floods affected especially Sindh, Baluchistan, and parts of Punjab, which are Pakistan’s main wheat-, cotton- and rice-producing areas.
Sowing usually goes on between October and December, but with thousands of hectares of farmland damaged, not only Pakistan's food security is at risk, but also global food supply, already under stress after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pakistan’s wheat production represents 2 per cent of the country’s GDP and 2.5 per cent of global exports, while rice represents 9 per cent of the world's exports. Floods submerged 65 per cent of the rice fields and 1.5 million acres dedicated to cotton.
Before the floods, Pakistan was already facing a serious economic crisis with high inflation and low foreign exchange reserves. Now, according to various sources, the price of staple foods (potatoes, onions, tomatoes) has increased by 300 to 500 per cent.
AsiaNews and the Fondazione Pime cannot be indifferent to Pakistan’s devastation; so they decided to expand their AN05 campaign in support of Pakistani kiln factory workers to include flood victims in Pakistan.
Donations can be made online here or through the methods shown below, ALWAYS INDICATING AN05 PAKISTAN EMERGENCY as the reason:
- Online payment by credit card (Visa, Cartasì, Mastercard, American Express) or PayPal
- Bank transfer payable to Fondazione Pime Onlus, Crédit Agricole – IBAN IT89M0623001633000015111283
Please always send an email to email@example.com to confirm the transfer, with your name, address, fiscal code (codice fiscale) if a resident of Italy (or social security/national insurance number in other countries or equivalent), as well as your place and date of birth. This information is needed to obtain a tax credit receipt.
- Postal account No. 39208202 made out to Fondazione Pime Onlus.
- Cheque or bank draft made out to Fondazione Pime Onlus, mailed to Fondazione Pime Onlus, via Monte Rosa, 81 – 20149 Milan, Italy