Pakistan's lasting struggle to start over after the floods | DW Documentary
Muhammad Ayaz used to run a hotel in northwestern Pakistan. Then the Swat River flooded and washed away his village.
Tourism was the backbone of the economy in Swat, Pakistan, with its lush forests and snow-capped mountains. In 2022, a third of the country was flooded. More than 33 million people were affected. Today, many communities are still reeling in the aftermath. Eighteen months after the disaster, people like hotelier Muhammad Ayaz are struggling to rebuild their lives. Although state aid has been promised, many say they haven’t received it. Pakistan is responsible for less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is disproportionately affected by climate change.
A report by Aasim Saleem and Mudassar Shah.
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More than 33 million people affected 1/3 of the country submerged the 2022 floods in Pakistan were devastating the South Asian state is responsible for less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions but it is disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change 18 months after the heavy floods many are still
Struggling to rebuild their lives the night before the flooding started we had everything today all we have is our health nothing else remains I’m worried about what will happen besides God we don’t expect help from anyone I’ve gone to the government but nobody does anything for us the authorities have sounded the
Alarm Bells the dystopia has already come to our doorsteps a lack of measures domestically as well as insufficient International assistance continue to affect the most vulnerable communities in the country By the afternoon we had realized that the river level was Rising it wasn’t unusual we experienced that in the 2010 and 2020 floods as well in 2020 we had left our area but this time we decided to stay later in the afternoon we sent the children to another location we
Waited for the water to reced it had been raining for 3 to 4 days by the evening the water level was still increasing we took shelter somewhere and that’s the last thing we remember when we woke up the next day both our hotel and our house were Swept Away by the
Flood located in Pakistan’s Northwestern K bakun Province bin was once a bustling tourist destination due to its landscape the area is referred to as the Switzerland of the East tourism was was the mainster of the economy contributing over 37% of Saar District’s income nowadays it looks more like a giant construction
Site around 90 to 95% of the people in Bahrain are currently jobless floods swept away everything between 10 to 20 employees were employed in our hotel today I myself am jobless only me and my God knows how I’m surviving in the floods ayaz lost his family business a three- star hotel the
Loss hit the family hard and almost everyone had to make sacrifices our family’s sole source of income was the hotel my older brother was the co-owner along with my father and we all used to run the business together my younger brother who studied for his Masters in economics has been
Unemployed for the last year or so he’s now leaving for Dubai my youngest brother was studying accounting but due to our financial situation he had to quit his studies the government announced financial assistance of 400,000 rupees about ,300 to Residents whose houses were destroyed we often go to the bank but
We’re told the Pakistan disaster Management Authority is responsible for the payment then I go to the commissioner everyone sends me to another official or Department you can’t do much with 400 ,000 rupees but we would have gotten the feeling that our government cares about us sadly that didn’t
Happen that’s what I’m saying 400,000 rupees are like pennies these days officials came and noted down our losses we filed complaints in the first 3 months we completed the paperwork and were approved for assistance for a and the people of saat the situation may improve when the Recon construction finishes and tourists
Return to the area but in many parts of the country hope is diminishing fast when I came back from the fields in the evening I had a lot but in the darkness of the night I lost everything the floods took it all today 48-year-old aam Khan is taking us to the place that
He once called home his inheritance and result of 12 Years of hard labor in Saudi Arabia are now just stones and dust this was the passage that led to our house it was about 15 ft long the rebel that you see here those are the remains
Of the house it was about 150 square m these remains are of the outside area of the house Han was not the only one who lost his house according to the provincial government over 300 houses were completely damaged and over 3,000 were partially damaged during the floods it’s been difficult for Han and
His family unable to pay rent on time they’ve had to move several Times this is where we’re living now this is what we call the main door come inside and see this whole place was filled with garbage with cleaned it up and filled it with mud it’s kind of our Veranda Now this is our kitchen in the stove we’re poor people this is the bathroom it doesn’t have a proper sewage system so all the dirty water accumulates here the bathroom is at a lower level than the door that’s why it’s difficult for the water
To find its way out what can we do we have to manage with what we have this is our room it doesn’t have a door or Windows when it rains the entire roof leaks you can see the roof is still wet this is where we spend our days and
Nights in the winter it gets very Difficult in conservative char women are not allowed to appear in front of strangers let alone a team of reporters but fed up with the living conditions and perhaps out of pure desperation aam’s wife T Khan spoke out about what it all meant for her as a mother of four Children one child has one wish the other has a different one I say with that money I could make lentils for the whole family we can’t afford wish we have no hope left apart from God Char’s losses were not limited to civilian infrastructure and property the bigger worry was the loss of 9,000
Hectares of agricultural produce it not only impacted the local community but also the revenue of the province Deputy Commissioner of charad wakasu Rahman said that climate change was directly responsible for the tragedy unus we we’re witnessing unusual weather conditions like heavy downpour during the monsoon season the whole country including
Charada District recorded losses due to that we fac challenges on multiple fronts due to climate change the Deputy Commissioner said that a total of 647 million rupees were paid out as compensation but he admitted that many people may have missed out in this Chada Village every person has a loss to
Grieve and almost none of them was compensated some lost their houses others their businesses but aam Khan has lost something a lot more valuable his Belief I AG I don’t have the energy to work as a laborer anymore my heart beats faster as time passes these problems age a person you become weak I’m worried about poverty in my children about 1,150 km to the south of Islamabad deep in the ariden province this is muncher
Lake one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes here too irregular weather patterns driven by climate change have triggered displacement this lake is is home to the Moana or Mah tribe which in the local Cindi language translates to Fisherman’s Village the over 200y Old Village on boats once had a lively community of
Over 30,000 people today there are just 45 boats left most of the people have migrated this family has taken shelter in an abandoned School all the bo are gone here you can see our fishing nets I used to have eight boats of my own several generations of the Moana tribe lived on boats so this is a new life for them they have not been formally educated and do not possess the
Skills or understanding for life on land kardami is very of the future while while recalling her past we used to eat here drink here and live here everything on the boat I got married on a boat as well my children were born here they got married here and then they had their children
Here all we knew was everything that could be done on the water fishing and repairing boats we got our food from the river my mother used to say the best food is what you grow in your own backyard we did that everything was just fine once abundant fish stocks have
Gradually shrunk due to Industrial Waste Water declining water levels due to low rainfall and unusual weather conditions mashuk bman has been working with an NGO to preserve muncher Lake he knows exactly what’s been going on we believe that due to climate change there are very few fish left here
Now earlier they used to be over 40 different types of freshwater fish in manchar Lake this place also routinely saw Birds migrating from Siberia people of the Moana tribe loved nature but look at them now displaced and disoriented we think Manar lake is dying we need to save the lake life returns to
The Lake Joy will come back to the lives of the Moana shman Pakistan’s former Federal Minister for climate change has been sounding the alarm Bells at International forums what goes on in Pakistan won’t stay in Pakistan we don’t wish for it to be that way um but the
Dystopia has already come to our doorsteps Pakistan is facing multiple challenges at the moment a deteriorating secur situation a deep financial crisis and political instability climate change does not appear to be a priority for its government at least for now meanwhile the most vulnerable continue to pay the Price
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