Disease Outbreak Feared in Pakistan

Rushing floodwaters have washed away crops, buildings, bridges, roads, schools and towns. Thousands remain isolated on rooftops awaiting rescue, as Pakistan continues to suffer from its worst deluge in 80 years.

Although relief efforts have already been intensified, officials are bracing for the worst – an outbreak of diseases such as cholera and gastroenteritis. Lack of clean drinking water in affected areas such as the Swat Valley in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province is largely to blame for about 100,000 people, mostly children, who are now suffering from the said diseases.  

Nicki Bennett, a senior humanitarian affairs officer for the U.N. said, “We’ve got the government sending boats and helicopters to try to reach people and bring them to safety at the same time as trying to deliver emergency relief.”

Unfortunately, damaged roads and bridges have made rescue efforts a lot more difficult. Even the U.N. warehouse where the organization stores food, blankets, soaps and buckets is reported to be partially underwater.

The Pakistani military reported that 25 bridges have been destroyed and around 36 miles (58 kilometers) of road have been washed away in Swat and Shangla districts.

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