by Zeeshan Niazi, Jamil Bhatti
MUZAFFARGARH, Pakistan, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- With the receding of flood waters and ending of rainy season in Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of flood affected people, amid uncountable problems, are trying to go back to their homes with the hopes that their houses might be safe.
"I am going back to my home as the water is receding, I hope my home would be safe and my husband has gone already," said Chand Bibi, a 35-year-old woman, showing her optimism.
Even after four weeks when the flood hit Muzaffargarh, a district of southern Punjab, water is crossing over the roads and people are waiting for boats, the only traffic to reach their home was to pass through the water.
Food and drinking water shortages had taught children to survive in tough situations. Now they have become aware how to collect their foods from the relief centers.
"I am going to get some food from government, I have lost my friends due to the flood, our house is destroyed." Jasmeen, 8, told Xinhua.
Most of the better off people from the flood affected areas had fled to different parts of the country before flood arrival, to their relatives, friends or in rented houses but less resourced people had been left behind in the areas to face the calamity.
"People had gone to different places like Multan, Muzaffargarh city, Vehari town and Dera but we are here and have lost everything,but everyone is helping us, many people died because of flood," said 35-year-old Rab Nawaz.
According to official data, at least 51,710,685 schools have been devastated in floods, depriving hundreds of thousands school- going children of their opportunity to get education.
"Our school has drowned in flood water now I don't need to go school," Farhan, 9, told Xinhua.
Pakistani army is the main unit working for the rescue and relief work in flood-hit areas throughout the country.
"Right now at this place we can see three boats from army they are operating and two boats from police are also operating so there are total five boats through which we are carrying the people across this water passage," Lieutenant Israr of Pakistan Army briefed Xinhua about the rescue work procedure.
"Yes, there is alternate we are using these boats to carry these relief goods to people who are trapped in certain locations which are now isolated by water and the areas where boats cannot reach," Israr said.
Food shortage has put people in a very tense condition where they fight with each other for food items. Brawl scenes may be seen in front of each relief goods distribution point.
Many flooded people have no easy access to the daily food items.
"Someone should think about us, nobody comes to distribute the food here, we are living at the roadside, my younger brothers are hungry, we can not bear the hot sunny days," Kaneez, 19, expressed her sorrow and problems.
Allah Bachai, 16, another village girl presented the different picture of her problems, "Since I am uneducated, I don't know how to register ourselves to get food."
"There is no proper distribution of food, some camps are set up by the government but you can see the number of the victims, we have witnessed that women gave births on the way moving to safe places, we feared that waterborne diseases will emerge after a short time," said Mulazim Hussain Qaisar, a local journalist.
"The authorities were unable to inform people in time about flood but on the other side lack of education in these areas led these people towards the devastation, they ignored the warnings by the government," Qaisar added.
Problems of victims are rising day by day in spite of the collective efforts by the government, international aid agencies and local welfare societies.
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