Aid for flood victims arrives in hard-hit Pakistani province

KARACHI: Two more US military planes carrying tons of aid to Pakistanis affected by floods from deadly monsoon rains landed on Sunday in the southern province of Sindh, one of the regions. hardest hit areas in the impoverished country.
Saif Ullah, a spokesman for the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, said each plane carrying about 35 tons of relief goods will be distributed by the World Food Program in the province. The plane landed at Sukkur airport in Sindh and Ullah said U.S. operations starting Thursday will continue through September 16.
Pakistan suffered extreme monsoon rains that started earlier this year – in mid-June. Many officials and experts have blamed the rains and the resulting floodwaters on climate change. The United Nation secretary general Antonio Guterres last week called on the world to stop “sleepwalking” to overcome the dangerous environmental crisis. He has repeatedly called on the international community to send large amounts of aid to Pakistan.
Mr. Ullah said on Sunday that two more flights carrying relief goods from the United Arab Emirates had landed at Karachi airport. To date, UN agencies and several countries have sent aid planes, and authorities say the UAE has been one of the most generous contributors.
Nearly 1,400 people have been killed, 13,000 injured and millions left homeless by major flooding since mid-June. The waters also destroyed road infrastructure and communications.
Miles of cotton and sugar cane, banana groves and vegetable fields can be seen submerged in floodwaters. Thousands of mud and brick houses lay under the flood that left people homeless and sheltering in tents along damaged roads.
Pakistan Military Commander-in-Chief Qamar Jawed Bajwa toured Dadu’s hard-hit area in Sindh and vicinity on Saturday. Dadu may suffer more floods due to rising Indus river.
“People will continue to suffer if we don’t have drainage and dams,” Bajwa told reporters.
He said the construction of dams would help generate electricity, limit pollution and reduce global warming and that military engineers had been asked to do an initial study.
Bajwa said research into alternative energy sources is essential and called for the gradual reduction of oil and coal as energy sources to a minimum.
Since June, heavy rains and floods have added new levels of grief for Pakistan, while highlighting the disproportionate impact of climate change on poor populations.
Experts say Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions attributed to climate change. The US is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the European Union for 15%.

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