Mehar, Pakistan: From the hastily constructed embankment protecting the city of Mehar, the minarets of mosques and the price boards of petrol stations jut out over a vast lake that has grown to be dozens of kilometers wide. Across this coastline in southern Sindh, hundreds of villages and farmlands have been lost under water to floods that have affected nearly a third of Pakistan.

“No one knows where our village is anymore. Ordinary people can no longer recognize their homes,” Ayaz Ali, whose village is submerged nearly seven meters below water, told AFP. The Sindh government says more than 100,000 people have been displaced by this new body of water brought on by record rains and flooding of the Indus.

Nationwide, about 33 million people were affected by the floods, about 2 million homes and businesses were destroyed, 7,000 kilometers (1.3 miles) of roads were washed away, and 256 bridges were destroyed. A bus conductor with an excellent memory, Ali acts as a naval navigator, identifying each submerged village by its pattern of power pylons and distinctive tree borders.

Navy volunteers will cruise the seas in two lifeboats carrying relief supplies donated by local residents, sending those in need of medical care back to the city. With Ali’s help, they search for patches of higher ground where families are still sheltered, refusing to evacuate despite the desperate situation exacerbated by the scorching heat.

“Their homes and possessions are very precious to them,” said one serviceman, who asked not to be named, looking at the vast waters. I couldn’t do it,” he added. The engine shuts down, and the boat slowly makes its way through the treetops, bowing under power lines in front of a cluster of crumbling houses surrounded by water.

“How can we leave?”

Dozens of people waiting this time. Many still refuse to leave their homes. They fear that all the livestock they leave behind will be stolen or die, and they fear worse conditions in the burgeoning makeshift relief camps across the country.

“Our life and death are linked to our village. Asiel Ali said. Some unforgiving people—a man with a fever, a toddler with diarrhea, an elderly woman who is silent in her anguish—took her twice as many on the burdened journey back to the city. I am among those assisted by boats carrying capacity.

Among them is a young mother who just lost her newborn when the water rose around her house last week. suffering.

‘Huge demand’

A new 10-kilometer mud embankment has so far held back flooding from the city of Mehar, which has a population of hundreds of thousands. But the city has swelled with casualties of displaced people who have fled to makeshift camps in parking lots, schools and highways over the past three weeks.

“More and more families continue to arrive in the camps. is the only welfare facility in the camp.

“The need for drinking water and toilet facilities is very high,” he added, but they may have to wait longer – the government’s priority is to drain flooded areas. and reservoirs are under pressure, and engineers are forced to make deliberate breaches to save densely populated areas at the cost of exacerbating rural conditions. but the poor in rural areas were not.–AFP

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