Pakistan's Misery Worsens as Waters Continue to Rise

Aid is slow to reach those displaced by floods.

ByABC News
August 12, 2010, 3:57 PM

Aug. 12, 2010 — -- The water is rising, the anger is growing, and thousands of people are still trying not to drown.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 1,600 people have died in Pakistan's floods and 7 million are in need of emergency assistance. And there is more to come: The monsoon season is expected to last several more weeks and there are fears that dams will burst in the coming days.

Abdul Wahab is stranded with his family in Sukkar. Everything he owns has been washed away.

"I have lost my home," Wahab said through an ABC News translator. "We could only save ourselves."

Villagers swam for hours to reach dry land with only the clothes on their backs, some with their livestock -- their only source of income.

The rain keeps coming and the rivers are overflowing from northwest Pakistan all the way to the southern tip of the country. The path of destruction is 600 miles long. Survivors received little help. Some in Sukkar have to live in a truck stop and the only food they can get is provided by private citizens.

"A supper of cooked rice was eaten last night by all of my family members," said Wali Khan, who was displaced from his home in Dera Ismail Khan. "We stored some of it for the next morning."

Government officials have been accused of not doing enough. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was criticized after he visited a medical camp that was later revealed to be a fake. Gilani passed out relief checks to actors who were hired to play victims for the photo-op shown on national television.

A U.S. Navy ship has arrived, tripling the number of American helicopters in the flood zone. But they cannot deliver food fast enough. There's already a food shortage - causing prices of basic items to quadruple. Of the estimated 14 million people that have been affected, 6 million are in need of food assistance.

"We haven't had any help," exclaimed one man. "No one is giving us anything,our children are dying of starvation."