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Pakistan’s Floods: One Year On

One year after intense flooding devastated much of Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of families are still at risk of more floods, while thousands of others remain in refugee camps and river embankments remain un-repaired. Corruption, predictably, has hampered the distribution of aid destined for construction, repair and protection from further flooding. Vast areas of the fertile Sindh province are covered in mud, unusable for farming. Hundreds of thousands of people still have no homes to return to.

I leave it to Pakistanis to explain how a government staffed with officials who would steal aid money from poor farmers can call itself an “Islamic Republic” without blasphemy; the Pakistan’s failures after the floods makes the Bush administration’s response to Katrina look heroic.

Extreme weather in Pakistan is fairly common. Flooding can be followed by drought. This year’s forecast for the monsoon season predicts less than average rainfall. That should hopefully give the government a little more time to rebuild houses and flood control systems but is bad news for farmers.

Tough times ahead for Pakistanis no matter which way the wind blows.

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