Melting glaciers aggravate Pakistan’s floods

Reports out of Pakistan now indicate that about 1,500 people have lost their lives and tens of thousands have been left homeless.

This year’s monsoon, which began July 28, is said to have affected 3.2 million people in northwest Pakistan. The most urgent need is clean drinking water followed by food, shelter, sanitation and medicines. Homes, bridges, roads and agricultural land have been swept away leaving scores of families with no homes or livelihood.

The potential for disease is high among flood victims as there is no fresh water, and the threat of water born diseases is high.

The monsoon has permanently displaced hundreds of thousands of people, particularly children. Of the 3 million-plus affected by the floods, UNICEF reports that 1 million of them are children.

The government of Pakistan has stated they expect the need in the affected region to be significant for at least the next four to six months.

Pakistani Professor M. Iqbal Khan, a glaciologist, said he believes the melting glaciers are the main cause of the floods.

In an interview with the Associated Press of Pakistan, Khan said, “It is the glaciers, which are adding fuel to the fire and due to the melting of glaciers the flood situation is aggravated.”

He goes on to say that the apparent gradual Himalayan glacial melt will continue to exacerbate future flooding.

Khan’s glacial melt theory has been reiterated by recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) findings.

Humanitarian aid can be sent through any aid organizations of your choice, just specify Pakistan flood relief. The organizations already active in Pakistan are Save the Children, OXFAM, Greater Good  andCARE.

Photo: A flood damaged the road from a 2006 flood in northwest Pakistan. (groundreporter/CC)