Mon | Jun 5, 2023

UN: Months after Pakistan floods, millions lack safe water

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2023 | 2:59 PM
People get drinking water from a water collecting point at a slum area, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. World Water Day will be observed on March 22, to aim to highlight the importance of freshwater and advocate for sustainable management of this vital resource. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The United Nations children's agency on Tuesday warned that after last summer's devastating floods, 10 million people in Pakistan, including children, still live in flood-affected areas without access to safe drinking water.

The statement from UNICEF underscored the dire situation in impoverished Pakistan, a country with a population of 220 million that months later is still struggling with the consequences of the flooding, as well as a spiralling economic crisis.

The floods, which experts attribute in part to climate change, killed 1,739 people, including 647 children and 353 women.

So far, less than half of UNICEF's funding appeal for Pakistan — 45% of $173.5 million — has been met.

According to the agency, before the floods struck last June, water from only 36% of Pakistan's water system was considered safe for human consumption.

The floods damaged most of the water pipelines systems in affected areas, forcing more than 5.4 million people, including 2.5 million children, to rely solely on contaminated water from ponds and wells, UNICEF said.

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