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    Pakistan Flood Survivors Protest Slow Government Relief


    by NTDTelevision

    Anger is growing among the survivors of Pakistan's deadly floods, caused by slow relief work in the devastated areas.

    On Sunday, hundreds of people held protests in Punjab Province, chanting slogans against the government.

    Swelled by torrential monsoon rains, major rivers have flooded Pakistan's mountain valleys and fertile plains, killing up to 1,600 people, and leaving two million homeless. It has disrupted lives of a tenth of Pakistan's 170 million people.

    With an area roughly the size of Italy affected by floods, government and foreign aid has been slow in coming.

    The United Nations says that six million people still need water, food, shelter and medicine, and has warned of a second wave of deaths among the sick and hungry if this help does not arrive.

    Pakistan's government, already facing a Taliban insurgency, now faces the risk of social upheaval and long-term economic pain.

    [Mohammad Liaqat, Protestor]:
    "It is our right but we get nothing. Our families are hungry. That is why we are protesting and we have blocked the road."

    [Naveed, Protestor]:
    "We are extremely hungry. Our children are hungry. We are staying on elevated ground. Our houses have been destroyed. I have only one set of clothes which I am wearing at the moment."

    Accusations abound that aid is not being delivered fairly.

    [Hafiz Shabbir, Protestor]:
    "Our town is submerged by floods; at least two hundred houses are inundated. The administration personnel are giving out aid to their own people. We are dying of hunger here. No one has showed up to comfort us."
    The meteorological department says heavy rains are expected in Punjab and the northwest over the next two days.