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Pakistan flood endangering children
Detail: The lives of 2 million people — over half of them children — are at severe risk from disease as devastating flooding continues in southern Pakistan, Save the Children warns.

The rains in the Sindh region are the worst in 300 years, according to local authorities. Some towns are receiving as much rain in a day as they normally do in a year. Many families still recovering from last year’s floods have again lost their homes and possessions.

Families’ homes have been swept away; they are living next main roads, which are elevated and dry. Parents are struggling to find food for their children and the materials for temporary shelters.

"This is a desperately serious situation," said David Wright, Save the Children’s Pakistan country director. "The lives of children in Sindh are at risk from both malaria and new floodwaters contaminated by the sewage from several major towns. At several camps, a hundred people are sharing a single toilet. Many children in Sindh are already weak and malnourished – malaria or waterborne diseases could kill them within days."

The peak of the malaria season in Sindh is October, but the vast expanses of standing floodwater are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which has Save the Children concerned about high numbers of malaria cases.

In addition, a major sewage canal, known as the LBOD canal, is at risk of bursting its banks. Most of the province’s sewage flows through the canal. If it breaches its banks, tens of thousands of people will have to be evacuated.
Date: October 20 2011