Number of the Day: 1,000,000

Posted on July 31, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Environment
28 Comments
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Adil Najam

The death toll continues to mount. From 228 it leapt up to 417, and now the authorities in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province say that it is more than 800. Casualties are also mounting in Sindh Punjab and Baluchistan.

If the 800 number is correct then the national toll must be well above 1000. And all of this as the ‘super flood’ that is expected in Sindh and Punjab because of these rains has not even hit as yet!

But the number of the day today is neither 800 or 1000, it is 1,000,000: Over one million people, according to the United Nations, have now been affected by these rains in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa alone. That number is bound to be much larger if you count the entire country, and is bound to grow even larger.

Hopefully these will be short-term displacements, but they are tragic – and unnecessary – displacements nonetheless. As commenters have already pointed out, there is nothing ‘natural’ about this disaster. It is entirely human made. People die not because it rains, they die because they do not have the means to cope with the rains. They do not have the means because of poverty and maldevelopment. These are preventable deaths and preventable displacement. The question is only whether we have the will to prevent.

The dead have unfortunately gone already. It is too late for us to act to help them. But let us do whatever we can to help those whose lives have been shattered by these floods. They have little recourse to a national social security net. And we have no excuse not to act.

As we announced yesterday, ATP will be sending all of its revenue to relief agencies working with the poor hit by these flood. We urge our readers to do the same. We are sending our contributions to the Edhi Foundation, but please send yours wherever you feel best, and please also share with us and our readers ideas about what you think are the best ways to help those displaced by these rains.

More details on this calamity here; and a pictorial post of the misery it has brought, here.

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28 responses to “Number of the Day: 1,000,000”

  1. Watan Aziz says:

    People die not because it rains, they die because they do not have the means to cope with the rains. They do not have the means because of poverty and maldevelopment.

    It is interesting on how you want to shift the blame from the three jinns to poverty of the people. Of the ones who died.

    Oh yes, the three jinns have the means, it is that the means were not deployed.

    Monsoon rains come every year. At about the same time too. Flooding cannot be prevented, deaths can be. At at these numbers?

    Only one word comes to mind and it is not poverty but Zulum! Underdevelopment is not the cause but theft of the national resources is. Absence of ‘mizan’ due to absence of ‘adl’.

    What is the accounting for communications setups, boats and all other essentials that should have been positioned all over Pakistan to meet the challenges? All I saw was row boats! Goodness.

    Where is the billions of Dollars we have been told by Sultan Musharraf that was spent to organize emergencies in Pakistan?

    If no preparation was made, then the deaths were premeditated murder.

    And please, if you cannot provide answer to these and more questions, at least do not insult the intelligence of the people by removing the responsibility from those who were responsible. And should be held accountable.

    Pakistan has problems but the solutions will not come if we do not frame the question right.

  2. Hidaya says:

    Hidaya Foundation (www.hidaya.org) has been doing humanitarian work in Pakistan for over 10 years. They are collecting funds (Zakat, Sadaqah, etc.) towards helping the families affected by this flood disaster. If you would like to donate, you may give directly on their website or by mail or by phone. Visit http://www.hidaya.org for more details.

  3. smssr84 says:

    @ Asim

    Allah reham kare!

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