Pakistani family finally returns home after floods

STORY: Pakistani farmer Mumtaz Ali and his family are finally returning to what is left of their flooded-ravaged home.

They haven't been back in weeks, having been forced to flee when the deadly deluge hit.

As he unloaded his belongings from a tractor, Ali told Reuters he still had to wade through ankle-deep waters to get to his property.

“When the flood waters approached, we left the village and found a place to live near a dyke. Our life was miserable in a make-shift tent there. There was a lot of traffic that caused so much disturbance, which we villagers are not used to. But, thank God, we returned home after the water receded, about a month later. Our houses were destroyed as you can see. But this is a blessing of Allah, that my family and I can return home.”

Ali lives in the Taj Mohammad village in Sindh, the province hardest-hit by the disaster.

In total, the floods have so far killed almost 1,600 people.

The national disaster agency said earlier this month that about 637,000 displaced people were being housed in tent villages.

Adding that the raging waters had swept away 1.6 million houses, over 3,500 miles of road and railway, and inundated over two million acres of farmland.

The cost of the damage is estimated to be around $30 billion.

Though glad to be home, Ali fears the cracked walls of his damaged house could cave in at anytime.

Finding a source of income is also a worry - though he did manage to save his livestock from the floods.

“It is Allah who gives sustenance. I will sell my cows to earn a living. We are farmers. We don’t know when the farming will start. You can see how much water is still there. For God’s sake, someone tell the government to flush this water out so that we can return to work to earn a living for our children.”

Authorities say the stagnant floodwaters could take up to six months to recede.

U.N. agencies have begun work to assess the South Asian nation's reconstruction needs, after it received nearly 190% more rain than its usual 30-year average in July and August.