Pak deluge to have lasting effect on battered country

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New York, Aug.17 (ANI): The devastating deluge in Pakistan has not only inundated acres of land and left millions homeless, but it has also added to the complexities facing the troubled country.

With the United Nations (UN) estimate of affected people crossing the four million mark, fears are that the on going nature's fury, which is being described as the country's worst in the last 80 years, would have a lasting effect on the country.

The UN has already warned that following the first wave of death and destruction, Pakistan is staring into the eye of second stage crisis with the outbreak of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea.

Apart from that other challenges such as food shortages and price hikes are also looming large.

"There was a first wave of deaths caused by the floods themselves. But if we don't act soon enough, there will be a second wave of deaths caused by a lack of clean water, food shortages and diseases transmitted by water or animals. The picture is a gruesome one," warned Maurizio Giuliano, a United Nations spokesman.

The prospect of immediate hunger combining with long-term disruptions to food supplies is a prime concern, The New York Times reports.

The Pakistan government has failed completely to come to the rescue of its people, and has also not being able to convince the international community to pour in funds.

"We don't have food rations in our house. There isn't a single grain of flour with us right now. What we're doing is breaking off legs from our wooden bed and using that (to cook food)," said Maqbool Anjum, a small-scale wheat farmer in the Khanpur area of southern Punjab Province.

"It'll take three to four years before we can grow anything on our land again," Anjum added, highlighting the challenge facing the majority of the people affected in the massive floods.

Making the matter worse is the timing of the floods, which has come in the fasting month Ramazan.

Even the Pakistani administration admitted that challenges would multiply in days to come and would become more difficult to contain.

"May God bless me, but there will be a catastrophe here in the next five to 10 days," the paper quoted Shoaib Bukhari, minister in charge of food pricing in Sindh.

"There will definitely be a hue and cry here, strikes and large-scale problems. We'll be hiding somewhere, and people will be beating up the city government." Bukhari added. (ANI)

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