Pakistan: 'People are drinking flood water'

(AP)
A Pakistani volunteer helps rescue villagers from their flooded homes in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan, 17 August 2013

Thousands of people across eastern Pakistan are sheltering in temporary camps after torrential rains washed away their homes and livelihoods.

The flooding has killed at least 140 people in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Miles of crops have been ruined and around 4,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed completely, displacing at least 80,000 people.

The Glasgow-based Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) is urging the international community, including aid agencies in the UK, to step in and offer support.

"It is [a] real tragedy which hits the poor families in Pakistan almost every year," said GMA chief executive, Manassi Bernard.

One pastor, the Reverend Benyaameen Najum, contacted the alliance from Pakistan to request immediate relief for 44 families in the villages of Chanada Singh Village, Masteke Village, and Gati Kalanger.

"People have no place to go to and are drinking flood water," the pastor told the alliance.

The alliance's international director of peace and harmony, Shahzad Khan added: "We urge aid agencies, relief organisation to reach out the flood affected families which are left in the lurch and has left many homeless, shoeless and shelter-less and believe people will respond to the genuine need and provide relief to the children and families."

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