Pakistan’s Flood

The flooding in Pakistan has increased over the last three weeks, and at this time Yahoo! reports that a fifth of the country is underwater. The flooded area includes Punjab, a province of India. Foreign aid has been extremely slow in arriving. U.N. workers throw food packets and the fastest people catch them — there just isn’t enough to go around.

Scientists fear the outbreak of epidemic diseases, especially among children. At best the water in Pakistan is not always clean; on top of that, the flooding mixes together waste water with flood waters, leaving all the water unsafe to drink. The most likely diseases are cholera and dysentery, both of which are spread through dirty water.

In the flooded regions of Punjab and Pakistan, September is when winter wheat must be sown. If the water is cleared soon enough, a good crop should result due to the topsoil that will be left behind. However, if planting is delayed very long, the crop will probably be far too small to feed everyone who depends upon it and other foods grown in these areas.

One-fifth (and still growing) is a large percentage! Especially in a developing country. I expect that the results of the floods, both human and technological, will inject Pakistan and Punjab with a big dose of chaos. That chaos will be an excellent breeding ground for dissent, anger, and terrorism.