August 17th, 2010
02:03 PM ET

Pools of mud, tents, unsafe water after Pakistan floods

Our flight to Dera Ismail Khan took only about 45 minutes from Islamabad. The region, heavily affected by the Pakistan offensive against the Taliban last year, is now ravaged by the flood.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gilani, was making a trip to the region, media in tow, to show that his party is in control of this massive disaster affecting millions.

As one of those members of the media, we had to adhere to the prime minister's schedule, which amounted to 15 minutes on the ground at the refugee

But even in that short time, the landscape told the story of the flood.

Stripped bare, the only color in the refugee camp was the darker shade of mud in the water pooling around the children. A boy hand pumped water from a tube well.

"Is that water clean?" I asked a member of the prime minister's office.

"Probably not," he said.

At least four children were dipping their hands in the water.

The UN estimates 3.5 million children are at risk of being affected by water-borne disease in Pakistan, part of the second wave of this disaster.

The children of Dera Ismail Khan are the ones at risk. Tents have just arrived in Dera Ismail Khan.

They're still fairly clean, only beginning to collect the dust of the refugee camp.

But the most critical need here is water. The only water I could see in my short stop was the water from the boy's hand pump - the water that's probably not

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Ray

    What do "pools of mood" have to do with tents, unsafe water and flooding?

    August 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    It's time yo stop caring. Say byebye

    August 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. T Charles

    OK, the critical need is water. How can us viewers assist? I see a bold and prominent link to an advertisement, but I don't see a link for sites to donate to...

    August 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ingrid Embree

      T Charles – there are a number of grassroots projects at

      August 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Citegis

    Can't they collect rain water for drinking?

    August 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Elizabeth

    Having lived in the capitol city I can tell you – the water is never clean, and the flood hasn't changed that. Pakistan does not HAVE clean drinking water anywhere, even in the best of conditions. Rain water would be a step up from what the cities supply.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lambee

    Did they come to our aid when we had the floods in the mid west and the east coast or down south ? No Most nations have floods.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      This question was asked so much this week that I looked it up – here's how the international community responded to Hurricane Katrina –

      August 17, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AmericanPatriot

    Helping Pakistan is back stabbing our brave men and women died in the line of duty. Every dollar donated will be used for IED that will hurt our men and women who are fighting for us.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. whatGodallows

    this should reduce Taliban recruitment numbers over time

    August 18, 2010 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. hungrytruth

    1/5 of their country is flooded. These people are desperately poor, all they want is clean water and their homes back. They want food for their children. We are all part of the world community, and It's time to put away personal animosity, and help each other, especially when desperate conditions present themselves. Global warming is a reality, its here, and this is only the beginning. We will see more flooding, more high temperatures, more famine, and it will hurt the desperately poor more than the rest of us. Peace and respect can grow from genuine humanitarian efforts. Please help these people.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. acmed Shams

    May we never forget how brutal and dictatorial the Taliban are and why US forces are so needed there
    Please watch this. Seriously.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |