Thousands more who have fled their homes in Sindh are still struggling to find care. Many walked for days in search of shelter and set up tents along the province’s main highway. Others have moved into abandoned buildings.
At a high school in the city of Jamshoro, hundreds of people crowded into classrooms and the surrounding gardens. Most had nothing but the clothes they fled in.
Ghulam Qadir, 17, escaped his village two weeks ago. He and five of his family members have been sleeping in a classroom for over a week.
“We left our home when the water reached to almost my neck,” Qadir said. His house had begun to collapse. Two rooms caved in, and another was starting to crumble. “I was worried about my family, especially the children,” he said.
The government estimates that 33 million people have been affected by the floods, about 13 percent of the population.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that 888 health facilities have been damaged, even as experts warned that the disaster could lead to an increase in disease and malnutrition. Standing water can act as breeding sites for mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and malaria.
Vector-borne disease researcher Erum Khan said dengue cases have already increased since the flooding. Her lab in Aga Khan University in Karachi reported more than 200 cases in August, compared with fewer than 30 in April. “Actual numbers are likely much higher,” Khan added.