Helping charities in Pakistan

1 September 2010

The floods in Pakistan © ShelterboxCharities doing vital work saving lives in flood-hit Pakistan are being helped by daily forecasts from the Met Office.

As well as looking back over the last year, the report also takes a look at some ongoing initiatives and our plans for the future.

Pakistan has been left devastated after extreme monsoon rains caused torrential flooding across swathes of the country. 20 million people are thought to have been affected the flooding, being left homeless and now living in unsanitary conditions.

As well as our corporate charity Shelterbox, the aid charities Oxfam, Christian Aid, Tear Fund, The United Nations World Food Programme, Merlin and CAFOD are all receiving specific forecasts for the disaster-stricken country.

As the UK's national weather service these forecasts are provided as part of the country's international aid to the people of Pakistan.

ShelterBox Field Operations Advisor, Mark Pearson, worked in Pakistan throughout July and returned to the country on 31 August.

He said that ShelterBox's work with the Met Office was crucial in enabling ShelterBox to house up to 10,000 people in the charity's disaster relief tents less than 48 hours after the first floods.

"Working with the Met Office and our partners in Pakistan, we knew that the worst monsoon season in years had been predicted. To this end, we were able to pre-position 1,800 ShelterBox tents in Pakistan during July. We''d anticipated flooding but the scale of this disaster is enormous."

To date, ShelterBox has sent emergency shelter for up to 61,000 people and water purification systems for 20,000 families.

We have also been working closely with the Pakistan Meteorology Department (PMD) on both weather- and climate-related information including:

  • 12-hourly precipitation and cloud forecasts for Southern Asia. These forecasts are at 12 km resolution, compared to the 22 km model used by PMD and therefore provide a finer level of detail.

  • Detailed science on the variability of monsoons.

Oxfam said our work on monsoons had been appreciated by the Pakistan weather service. Oxfam is currently providing clean water and hot meals to more than 200,000 people. In total, Oxfam aims to reach around one million people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies.

Why has there been such extreme weather in Pakistan? Our Chief Scientist Professor Julia Slingo investigates.

Last updated: 21 April 2011