Monsoon and humanitarian efforts go together
Flood victims still struggling to get back to normalcy
... Were severely affected by devastating floods for three years in a row.
We have observed that the scale of humanitarian assistance for flood hit communities in Jaffarabad and adjacent areas has been decreased significantly, since majority of the aid organizations have abandoned the area. The OCHA too has identified certain needs to be addressed for helping the victims to get rehabilitated prior to any other natural disaster which may occur as another flood during the upcoming Monsoon in July-August 2013.
Now, therefore, keeping in view the current needs and potential risks of another flooding in Jaffarbad district of Balochistan and Noshehra district of KPK, once again Pakistan Relief is planning to take initiative for a humanitarian program, well in time. We hope our humble efforts in the health sector through Mobile Medical Camps at rural areas will bring some ease in the lives of local inhabitants. Besides healthcare, the distribution of Non Food Items will further help restoring normalcy and hope, at grass-root level.
Harsh winter intensifies troubles for many
Many of the last yearís flood victims couldnít get back to their normal life, so far. Some of those affected are in need of appropriate shelter while some are looking for financial help to restore their livelihoods after the fierce floods in Pakistan our Emergency Response Teams had identified some of the worst hit areas where there affected communities were seeking help, anxiously. Initially our teams collected data during several assessments at KPK, Punjab and Balochistan and shared it with other INGOs as well. After the completion of the first phase of the distribution we started the 2nd phase to address the immediate requirements of the people in need in Balochistan and Sindh. The Balochistan province remained bit neglected since only four NGOs i.e. Lands Aid, Pakistan Relief, Turkish Medical Mission and Agha Khan Hospital were responding in an area where 1.2 million people were affected by the devastating floods, either directly or indirectly. In this regard, we have distributed Quilts, Hygiene Kits, Water Coolers and Kitchen Utensils at district Jafarabad, Balochistan. Almost 4,300 families comprising 24,000 individuals have been benefited.
In the thirds phase another 2500 families are going to receive relief goods till the mid of December, 2010. Since harsh winter is around the corner, tens of thousands of families are still looking forward to have shelter, quilts, blankets, and warm clothing.
Catastrophe, massive than Tsunami
Situation Report 30 August, 2010
Pakistan has suffered the worst floods for 80 years and at least 2200 people have been killed with 22 million others affected. The crisis is expected to worsen with the forecast of more heavy rains. According to UN the recent floods in Pakistan have caused a sever damage and the catastrophe has proved to be massive than Tsunami. Renewed rain has been hampering relief efforts after the flood of the century in Pakistan. Mass evacuations are under way in the southern province of Sindh after the Indus River rose there.
The intense flooding that began about two weeks ago has washed away roads, bridges and many communications lines, hampering rescue efforts. Incessant monsoon rains have grounded many helicopters trying to rescue people and ferry aid.
Floodwaters receded somewhat on Friday in the north-west, but downpours again swelled rivers and streams.
Pakistani meteorologist Farooq Dar said heavy rains in Afghanistan were expected to make things even worse over the next 36 hours as the bloated Kabul River surged into Pakistan's north-west. That will likely mean more woes for Punjab and Sindh provinces as well, as new river torrents flow east and south.
The United Nations said at least 15 million people had been affected, including 1.5 million severely, meaning their homes had been damaged or destroyed.
UN and Pakistani officials may put the figure much higher after a detailed assessment.
More Rains in Flooded Pakistan
Situation Report 06 August, 2010
The current fierce floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces have left millions of people helpless. At least 1800 people lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands are rendered homeless. The magnitude of this disaster is enormous. We estimate that at least 4 to 5 million people are affected, directly. The monetary losses have become unbearable for the poor communities.
We are receiving phone calls and letters from our members and public living in different parts of the country. Now, some people start weeping when they explain the tragedy they are going through. The floods have badly affected Swat valley, Noshehra, Charsadda, Azakhel, Layyah, Mianwali, Muzaffargarrh, Rajan Pur so far and reportedly 900,000 cusecs of flood water is moving in Southern Punjab and adjacent Sindh. There are reports of heavy floods in Kashmir too. The Neelum Valley and one of our project areas Gurais Valley is still cut off since we haven't received any report from there.
Due to unhygienic conditions in the affected region and lack of clean drinking water, the symptoms of Cholera, Diarrhea and Skin infection are becoming visible now. If carcasses of the animals remained in the streets the health related problems will intensify in next couple of days.
We have been distributing food items and water purification tablets. There is an urgent need of jerry cans, kitchen utensils, stoves and food items. Furthermore we need more medicines to send medical teams in affected areas. Itís a race against time and with a network of experienced volunteers we can make a real difference.
International and national media is giving due coverage to the current disaster yet there are fewer organizations that are responding in the affected region. There is frustration and anxiety because the losses are enormous and aid given to people in need is like peanuts.
Once again our nation is victim of lack of contingency planning and poor emergency response. An early warning system could have saved precious lives. These floods have reminded that there is immense need of disaster prevention and preparedness both at public and government levels.
Since the current disaster has become out of capacity of local organization we invite international NGOs especially Pakistani Doctors and professional living abroad to extend hand of cooperation.
Another series of rains has started and its going to make the current situation overwhelming. The affected people wonder what they will do in Ramadhan without any food and household items. After these floods people of Pakistan may face crisis of food as crops have also been damaged.
Devastating Floods in Pakistan
Situation Report 31 July, 2010
Recent floods occurred after heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan. More than 1200 people have been killed, thousands are rendered homeless and 1.6 million have been affected. Our team that returned back from Noshehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 31st July, reported that recent flood is the worst natural disaster in that area since more than 275,000 people have still been stranded there. Many are compelled to stay at the roof tops of their homes due to the fear of another wave of water which has been released from Warsak dam. They are anxiously waiting to be evacuated. Today (1st August) was actually the first day of rescue and relief efforts. Three army helicopters and four small boats were used to evacuate the victims of floods. Those who left their homes during the torrential rains have also been waiting for help at higher places. The routine life has been distressed, enormously since there is no electricity, no clean drinking water or food items are available. Besides those who are trapped in the city have no access to communication too because telephone exchange is out of order and those who have cell phones are unable to recharge the batteries due to absence of electricity. Some people claimed to see dead bodies floating in the streets of flooded Noshehra. A resident of Noshehra named Ajmair Shah lost his daughter during the flood. Most of his belongings and household items has either been destroyed or swept off. He is living out in the open sky for last three days along with 19 other relatives.
Almost 200 families have been provided with temporary shelter at Government College of Technology. Many families narrate the same stories like Ajmair Shah. The philanthropists from the nearby cities like Islamabad, Attock and Rawalpindi started providing them with cooked food this evening for the first time. The majority of affected people have no utensils to obtain food so they used polythene bags. Whilst eating food they have been drinking contaminated flood water. There is an urgent need of Jerry Cans, Tents, Utensils, Mosquito Nets, Clothing and thin Blankets etc.
Besides, there are sick and traumatized children, men and women who need medical care. Since water borne diseases are going to be a major threat in next few days the medicines for Diarrhea, vomiting, fever, Malaria and skin infection etc are required urgently. Especially the Gastrointestinal diseases may cause a huge trouble.
Yesterday and today Pakistan Reliefís medical team treated patients and distributed blankets for the children as well. Another team of Pakistan Reliefís volunteers distributed 700 food packs that were donated by a restaurant owner of Rwalpindi. So far there is no access to the city but as soon as the flow and level of water will decrease we will attempt to get in to intervene. We have a few small
inflatable rafts but those are not suitable to cope with the aggressive current of Kabul River. The boats/Rafts with engines can be of great help to reach people in need.
We intend to set up a medical camp in the vicinity because there will be huge influx of sick people when water level will decrease. Local coordination hub has been established by Pakistan Army at Military College of Signals Risalpur which is just a couple of miles away from Noshehra. According to a Pakistan Army official, Col. Shahjehan, there was a fierce flood in the same area back in 1925 too but that was measured as 170,000 cusecs. This time it has been measured up to 300,000 cusecs.
There are reports of floods in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Kashmir as well.
Appeal for Medicines
Water borne diseases are going to be a major threat in next few days. The medicines for Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever, Malaria and Skin infection etc are required urgently. Especially the Gastrointestinal diseases may cause a huge trouble. Click here to see the list of urgently required medicines.