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actualité | 20 Novembre 2015 | | Emergency

Shelter and vital aid for families struck by flooding in Pakistan

Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral in Pakistan are home to thousands of big and small glaciers and glacial lakes. This unique geographical profile makes the area highly vulnerable to changing climate and environmental risks such as glacial lake outburst floods, avalanches, land and mud slides. During the last week of July 2015, the northern parts of Pakistan - particularly Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral – were struck by torrential rains. These heavy downpours triggered glacial lake outburst floods, a phenomenon during which glacial ice walls containing water give way, sending water down from the glaciers to inhabited areas downstream.

Till date about 600,000 people in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have been affected directly and indirectly by this flooding.

This year, the glacial lake outburst floods over the summer materialized as massive torrents and flash floods that inundated dozens of villages, destroying roads, bridges, schools, water supply systems, irrigation and hydro power channels, as well as private properties and agricultural land. The series of flash floods caused devastation in 73 villages of Chitral and 65 villages of Gilgit-Baltistan. More than 1,400 houses were damaged, leaving almost 12,000 people without a roof over their head. Till date about 600,000 people in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have been affected directly and indirectly by this flooding.

ACTED is now working with the local NGO FOCUS, providing financial support and training to address the specific needs of families in Chitral, aiming to provide a protective environment and shelter. The families will also receive vital non-food items, direly needed as winter strikes in these northern parts of Pakistan.