At least 10 bridges and dozens of buildings have been destroyed, with hundreds of people stranded across the river after flash flood hit Manoor Valley in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday. “Please rebuild the bridge, we have nothing now.” These are the contents of a handwritten note we drop to our team when visiting villagers.
Manor Valley is located in the mountains of Kaghan – a popular tourist destination in Pakistan. 15 people including women and children died due to flash floods in the valley.
The flash floods only swept away the concrete bridge that connected the picturesque valley to the main city. After which all the villages on the other
side of the river have been closed and the residents are waiting for help.
The BBC team arrived in the valley after an hour’s perilous drive, with the road damaged by floods and landslides at several places. Two bridges in Manor have been completely demolished and a temporary wooden crossing has been constructed. She sits with her belongings in front of us. She tells the BBC that she can see her home but is unable to reach it.
“My house and my children are on the other side of the river. I have been waiting here for two days. I thought the government would come and repair the bridge, but the authorities tell us to start walking on the other side of the river.” There is a mountain to reach our house, but it is a walk of eight to ten hours. How can I walk so much as an old woman?
When the rain starts again and the water flows
She waits for a while and leaves when the rain starts again and the water flowing under the makeshift wooden bridge begins to rise. Men, women, and children sit
outside their mud houses on the other side of the river. They think we are government officials.
Then some of them throw a piece of paper at us, put it in a plastic bag full of stones and throw it on the river bank where we are filming. This is the only way to communicate with the rest of the village these days. Mobile networks do not work here.
The handwritten letter contains information about the losses they are facing and also requests supplies and medicine for the besieged villagers. “There are many sick people in the village who cannot leave on foot. Please build a bridge. It is the main link to the city,” the letter said.
“We need supplies. The 60-year-old Abdul Rasheed recounts his ordeal to us, as he pleads for a road. In a flood, he lost his wagon, the only means of earning money to feed his family.
The loss of property and income affects
The loss of property and income affects many other people as well, he says. “They need help, they need food. The small market here was swamp
ed with food and supplies.” “The house I live in is on the other side, so I have to walk eight hours to get to it. How can I do it at such an old age?” he asks.
Many shops and hotels have been destroyed here. Sohail and his brother’s mobile phone repair shop is lost in the flood. The BBC reports that he has three families to feed and is uncertain about his future. We aren’t getting the help we deserve. I have no idea what to do. Every shopkeeper here is worried. According to him, all of them are poor and have large families to support.
“These officials and politicians come here for photo sessions and entertainment, they come, take photos and leave. No one helps us. But the Deputy Commissioner of the district told the BBC that a comprehensive rescue and relief operation was immediately carried out in the area and all the hotels have been evacuated. According to him, the damage to the property has already been assessed.
The flood victims will be compensated soon
He said that we have completed the investigation and the flood victims will be compensated soon. He said that the work regarding the reconstruction of the bridge has started but it will take some time. While the government blames climate change for the floods, communities are criticizing the government and local authorities for allowing developers to build hotels on the banks of the river.
Another resident in the main market of Kaghan said, “These hotels and markets have blocked the natural water channels, so we are seeing huge damage due to floods, which could have been easily avoided.” Many hotels are built on the banks of the Kanhar river in Kaghan and its surrounding valleys. A police station and a religious school have also been destroyed by floods.
A few hundred meters from the police station, a family sits in a makeshift tent on the river bank. They say that 8 members of their family drowned in a single flood.
Heavy rains and floods have wreaked havoc across Pakistan.
There have been more than 1,000 deaths and millions of displaced people. At least 700,000 homes have been destroyed, according to officials.
With millions of people waiting for food, drinking water and shelter, rescue teams are struggling to reach these devastated communities. Provinces like Sindh and Balochistan have been the most affected, but the mountainous regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been affected.
Pakistani troops have also been called in to transport aid agencies to flood-affected areas as roads have been damaged and the only way to reach most communities is by helicopter. Friend countries, donors, and international financial institutions are also being appealed to by Pakistan’s government.
Floods in Pakistan: Sindh province is waiting for more floods and destruction
Sindh, one of Pakistan’s southernmost provinces, is bracing itself for the worst as the country continues to grapple with devastating floods. Floods from raging rivers are moving into low-lying areas, officials say, threatening more suffering for millions of people.
Floods have killed nearly 1,000 people in Pakistan since June, displaced thousands – and affected millions more.
The province – which has a population of nearly 5 million – has seen little relief from the rains. But it will take a few more days of sunshine to make life right again.
This year’s floods are wreaking havoc – and their impact is far from being fully felt. In many rural communities the infrastructure was already basic. Many of the roads are unpaved, and some bridges are worn out after years of little maintenance. But this cannot be blamed solely on poor infrastructure.
Who have faced floods
Officials in Pakistan, who have faced floods many times before, say the inferno from the heavens was nothing they weren’t prepared for.
“People around the world talk about climate change and some say it’s just a theory,” said an official who is running relief operations in Larkana, one of the worst-hit cities.
“We’re seeing for ourselves on the ground that climate change is happening. We’ve never seen rain like this in a year … Now we need to think about how we build for the future – how we start it.” Let’s do it?” Storms from rivers flowing north of the mountains are expected to arrive in the coming days. But this destruction is not isolated to Sindh province.
A man told the BBC his daughter had drowned in a flooded river in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“He said to me: ‘Dad, I am going to collect leaves for my goat,'” said Mohammad Farid, who lives in Kaghan Valley.
“A rush of water swept her away after she went to the river bank
The US, UK, UAE and others have contributed to the disaster appeal, but more funds are needed, officials say.
According to Dawn newspaper reports, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced 10 billion rupees ($45 million) for the most affected people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Nawaz Sharif said that 25,000 rupees ($112) will be given to each flood-affected family, which will be distributed within a week.