“I wouldn’t wish dengue on my enemies,” said Kiran Akif. News of a dengue outbreak earlier this month brought back memories of her illness from the potentially fatal, mosquito-borne disease in October last year. The 43-year-old administrator of a private school in Lahore, spoke with concern as she thought of the devastation dengue could wreak in parts of Pakistan that are still inundated with floodwater.
“The fact that thousands upon thousands of displaced people in our country are sleeping under the open sky, near huge swathes of stagnant water, is frightening,” Akif said.
The worst floods over a decade have displaced more than 33 million people in Pakistan since mid-June. Over 1,500 people have been killed and more than 12,800 injured, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.
The southern provinces of Sindh and Balochistan were the worst affected by flooding. Both experienced the wettest August on record, receiving seven and eight times their usual monthly rainfall, respectively. A study released last week said that climate change could have increased the most intense rainfall by 50%.
The deluge left behind large areas of standing water: in August, 37% of cropland in Sindh was inundated, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 16% of cropland was affected; 15% in Balochistan;…