Floods – A Common Natural Hazard


Water is essential for life on earth. All the living organisms need it to survive and flourish. About 70%-90% of the living body comprises of water. Water exists in three states of matter.

Solid……….in the form of ice

Liquid……..in the form of fresh water

Gas…………in the form of water vapors

There is plenty of water on our planet Earth. Many regions have plenty of water whereas others have a little of it. Too much or too little water are two of the world’s most serious natural hazards


There are many disruptive effects of flooding on human settlements and economic activities. However, floods (particularly smaller floods) can also bring many benefits, such as:

– Ground water can be recharged by flood water,

– Make soil more fertile

– Provide nutrients to soil like potassium, ammonium, nitrates which are necessary to enhance the fertility of soil.

– Flood waters also provide sufficient water resources to dissolve precipitates which are unevenly distributes throughout the soil.

– Freshwater floods play a significant role in maintaining ecosystems.

– They are also a key factor in maintaining biodiversity.

– Some crops (e.g rice) require plenty of water to grow and floods could be beneficial for them to grow rapidly. This increased growth of food items will be advantageous for the economy of the country as it will increase the per capita income and GDP on the whole.


On one side, if floods bring benefits to local population such as helping to create fertile soil for farming. On the other side, they also can bring destruction and misery to human settlements. Floods are mainly recognized for destructions and deteriorations. These damages creating agony and pain are briefly described below:

– Floods can engulf villages and property.

– They can also wash away crops and valuable soil which in turn cause landslides and mudslides.

– They can also damage infrastructures such as communication and transportation lines making rescue and emergency attempts harder.

– Floods can also disrupt sewage and water disposal systems, resulting in contamination of water. Consequently, this contaminated water greatly results in epidemics.

– They can also result in channel obstructions (such as road and rail) caused by fallen trees making normal lives tougher.

In order to get rid of this horrifying and pitiable destruction, following necessary steps should be taken:

– According to the National Flood Insurance Act, 1968, Flood insurance should be provided to the property owners to cover flood-related damage to building or property.

– Adequate drainage system should be ensured to reduce exposure to flooding.

– New and replaced sewage systems should be designed to minimize chances of floods.

– The areas where floods are expected should be prohibited for residence until and unless engineers analyses that there will be no risk of water rise.

– Buildings shall be constructed in a way to prevent water from entering and accumulating in to the respective building.

– The materials used in the construction of building shall be resistant to flood damage.

– Some types of fences that are relatively solid can significantly restrict the fast flow of water.

Floods in Pakistan:

In the developing country like Pakistan, a little bit of heavy rainfall can cause flood due to inappropriate drainage systems. The floods in Pakistan have caused miserable damage to about a quarter of the country. In 2010, an enormous flood hit Punjab which took away many lives along with the assets. Financial assistance and emotional condolence were given on huge scale. The Almighty Allah still doesn’t took pity on the poor Pakistanis and once again in 2011, people of Pakistan (particularly Sindh) face critical challenges as they are faced with the loss of lives of their loved ones, crops and livestock, damaged homes and schools, cracked roads, deteriorated infrastructures and threat of epidemics.

To cope with this damage, Government, many NGOs, TV stars join hands to help the nation and rebuild their lives.

For this remedial purpose, more than 700,000 people received clean drinking water through installation of water tanks, and water coolers to save themselves and their children from Gastero and Diherial diseases.

The victims also received home kits containing grocery items along with mosquito nets. Moreover, a psychiatrist was also appointed to help the children to get rid of the trauma they have experienced.

According to an estimate, nearly 400,000 people have lost their lives, animals, houses in floods. Therefore flood victims are provided with adequate, basic and hygienic food for survival. In addition to this, women and children would be given medical treatment in order to get cure from water borne diseases.

Non-formal schools are also arranged for the poor victims of flood so that they become in touch with their curricula.

Source by Tehrima Zafar

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