Al Jazeera has another harrowing story out of Pakistan. According to government officials, over 14,000 head of livestock have died as a result of the floods caused by monsoon rains.
(Warning: The video below contains disturbing images.)
Some of the animals have drowned, some have starved to death, and still others have died from drinking floodwater contaminated by the carcasses of dead animals.
"There are so many dead animals, I can't begin to count," said Ramesh Lal, who works with the non-profit Anwar Foundation. He's one of the many people working at removing animal carcasses from Sindh province, where flooding has killed over 220 people, affected 665,000 homes, and displaced more than 1.8 million people: "We are doing our level best to collect [all the animals]. It's not an easy job, but we are proud to do it for our people."
Veterinarians from neighbouring Punjab province have been lending aid by helping to vaccinate thousands of head of healthy livestock, because "In a disaster like this, people and animals have no choice but to drink the same water," said Dr. Muhammad Ilyas, "so we're trying to make sure that as few animals get sick as possible, because if they do it will create an even bigger crisis."
It's not just a health issue. Livestock are a major element in the local economy, and a source of daily food for families. The loss of even a single animal is a major blow.
As we've mentioned before, the World Food Programme is distributing food and water rations to those worst-hit by the flood.
To find out how to get involved with the WFP, visit www.wfp.org.