Impact of the 2010 Pakistan Floods on Rural and Urban Populations at Six Months

Thomas Kirsch, Christina Wadhwani, Lauren Sauer, Shannon Doocy, Christina Catlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 2010 Pakistan flood affected 20 million people. The impact of the event and recovery is measured at 6 months. Methods: Cross-sectional cluster survey of 1769 households conducted six months post-flood in 29 mostaffected districts. The outcome measures were physical damage, flood-related death and illness and changes in income, access to electricity, clean water and sanitation facilities. Results: Households were headed by males, large and poor. The flood destroyed 54.8% of homes and caused 86.8% households to move, with 46.9% living in an IDP camp. Lack of electricity increased from 18.8% to 32.9% (p = 0.000), lack of toilet facilities from 29.0% to 40.4% (p=0.000). Access to protected water remained unchanged (96.8%); however, the sources changed (p=0.000). 88.0% reported loss of income (90.0% rural, 75.0% urban, p=0.000) with rural households loosing significantly more and less likely to recovered. Immediate deaths and injuries were uncommon but 77.0% reported flood-related illnesses. Significant differences were noted between urban and rural as well as gender and education of the head of houshold. Discussion: After 6 months, much of the population had not recovered their prior standard of living or access to services. Rural households were more commonly impacted and slower to recover. Targeting relief to high-risk populations including rural, female-headed and those with lower education is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4fdfb212d2432
JournalPLoS Currents
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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