Hygiene kits provided to affected families

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LAHORE: WaterAid is helping thousands of families affected by Pakistan’s worst floods, distributing hygiene kits with soap, towels and jerrycans, disinfecting water resources and installing safely managed toilets security.

A press release released by WaterAid on Saturday said the development organization initially allocated 30 million rupees (over $136,000) for emergency first aid to more than 40,000 flood-affected people.

Heavy monsoon rains and floods have affected 30 million people in Pakistan since mid-June, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). More than 900 people have been killed by the devastating monsoon rains and floods, including 326 children, and at least 95,350 homes have been destroyed.

WaterAid has launched the flood response with the help of local partners in Badin (Sindh), Rajanpur (Punjab) and Swat (Khyber Pukhtunkhwa) districts and will focus on disinfection of drinking water sources, provision of hygiene kits, construction of toilets in schools/camps, evacuation of flood waters, awareness sessions on drinking water, sanitation and personal hygiene, support for the specific needs of women and girls in flood-affected areas, including providing menstrual hygiene kits and supporting journalists to investigate and report responsibly on floods and water, sanitation and hygiene issues.

Arif Jabbar Khan, Country Director of WaterAid Pakistan, said: “The situation for the families is extremely difficult and is likely to last for months. People have lost their homes, their belongings, they have lost family members. Drinking water sources and toilets have been washed away or damaged, meaning people are forced to drink contaminated water – with outbreaks of disease just a glass of dirty water. It is vital to help people with food and shelter, but also soap, towels, jerrycans, so that they can practice basic hygiene and avoid illnesses such as diarrhoea.

“Water sources need to be restored, and it is important that people have access to decent toilets, to prevent epidemics. Our initial response is two months, but we will continue to expand our response as we raise more funds. We will also continue our efforts through our ongoing Wash programs which focus specifically on climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene, especially for female-headed households and marginalized groups.

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