In the last three days, floods caused by monsoon rains have reportedly killed at least 430 people in the country, the worst to have hit the region since 1929. According to the Associated Press, “The rising toll from the monsoon rains underscore the poor infrastructure in impoverished Pakistan, where under-equipped rescue workers were struggling to reach people stranded in far-flung villages.” More than a million people have been affected by the disaster, and many have been displaced from their homes as the floods submerge villages and bridges, bloat rivers, and trigger landslides throughout the northwest of the country. A state of emergency has reportedly been declared in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and authorities have told people to evacuate the banks of theKabul and Swat rivers. Residents in Muzafarabad also told the BBC there was no electricity or drinking water in parts of the city.
As the Pakistani Army transfers people to safety by helicopters and boats, the United Nations announced they will be launching rescue efforts in 29 affected districts in K-P (The UN agency has already launched similar efforts inBalochistan).
But after the rains subside, what will be the long-term impact of these floods? And, given Pakistan’s recent spate of militant attacks, political instability, natural disasters and plane crashes, how much more can our country take? Fahad Desmukh echoed my sentiments exactly when he tweeted, “God is giving the terrorists tough competition.”
(Ahsan at Five Rupees also has a great post on the issue of class in the coverage of national tragedies, looking at both the Airblue plane crash and the floods, see here).
PESHAWAR: Fears grew Monday about outbreaks of disease among 1.5 million people affected by Pakistan’s worst floods in 80 years after monsoon rains killed more than 1,100 people across the northwest.
Unprecedented rains triggered floods and landslides, sweeping away thousands of homes and devastating farmland in one of Pakistan’s most impoverished regions, already hard hit by years of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence.
Officials warn that a lack of drinking water is spreading cholera and gastroenteritis, saying they are working to evacuate people from affected areas such as Swat, the scene last summer of a major offensive against the Taliban.
“We estimate that about 100,000 people, mostly children, have been hit by cholera and gastro diseases,” said Syed Zahir Ali Shah, the health minister for the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Our priority is to first evacuate them to safe areas and then provide them with medical treatment.
“In cut-off areas and parts of Swat we have sent medical teams by helicopter,” he told AFP.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon pledged aid of up to 10 million dollars to meet the humanitarian needs of those affected by the crisis, saying he was “deeply saddened” by the floods.
The US government announced a 10-million-dollar aid pledge and has rushed helicopters and boats to Pakistan. China has also promised 1.5 million dollars, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Anwer Kazmi, a spokesman for the Edhi Foundation, said at least 1,256 people had been killed and that Swat was the worst affected district with 475 deaths.
“Food and shelter are the most critical needs of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people… the situation is seriously affecting the health of children and women in particular,” he told AFP.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said earlier that the floods had killed more than 1,100 people and affected over 1.5 million in the province, but had warned the death toll could rise further.
“We are also getting confirmation of reports about an outbreak of cholera in some areas of Swat,” he said.
Pakistan’s meteorological department forecast downpours of up to 200 millimetres in the next two weeks across the northwest, Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the central province of Punjab and Sindh in the south.
Television footage and photographs have shown people clinging to the walls and rooftops of damaged houses as water rushed through villages.
Hundreds of survivors have sought shelter in schools in Peshawar and Muzaffarabad, many having escaped the floods with children on their backs.
“My family is sheltering in a school, but no clean drinking water, food or medicine has been given to us,” Fahimud Din, 27, from the Charsadda neighbourhood of Peshawar, told AFP.
“My son is suffering from cholera, but there is no doctor,” he said.
He joined scores of flood victims who demonstrated for a second day, protesting against the sluggish relief effort in Peshawar.
The crowd shouted “give us aid sent by foreign countries” and “death to the corrupt government.”
Pakistan’s military and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have been coordinating the relief effort, saying they have rescued more than 28,000 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by helicopter and boat.
The NDMA said nearly 30,000 homes had been damaged across the country.
In Pakistani-administered Kashmir, flooding and landslides killed 53 people, said Mehmood Khan, the head of the local Disaster Management Authority.
Riaz Khawaja, a television cameraman, who walked to Muzaffarabad over four days from Neelum valley spoke of scenes of devastation.
“There is destruction everywhere along the way and severe food shortages have hit the Neelam valley
ISLAMABAD: The worst floods in memory in Pakistan have devastated the lives of more than three million people so far, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday, and fury over the unpopular government’s response to the crisis is spreading.
The catastrophe, which started almost a week ago and has killed more than 1,400 people, is likely to deepen as more rains are expected and conditions are ripe for the outbreak of disease.
Pakistani authorities are struggling to help flood victims, many of whom have lost everything and say they had not received any warnings raging waters were heading their way.
Anger was palpable in towns such as Charsadda. A Reuters reporter saw people attacking trucks distributing relief items.
Police then charged at them with batons.
Bistma Bibi, 65, who lost two grandsons in the floods, accused state relief workers of only helping friends or relatives.
“I came here at 5 o’clock in the morning. I did my best. I begged and fought but got nothing. They’re giving them (supplies) to their people,” she said.
Unicef spokesman Abdul Sami Malik told Reuters of the more than three million affected, 1.3 million people were severely impacted by the floods in the northwest, losing homes and livelihoods. More than 1,400 have died, he said.
Religious charities, some with suspected ties to militants, have stepped in to provide aid, piling pressure on the government to show it can take control.
“Since the flood hit our area, I did not see any food or relief packets from the government. Their offices have been washed away or damaged,” said school teacher Yar Mohammad, waiting to cross a makeshift bridge over a river in Swat Valley.
Religious groups played a key role in the relief effort following a 2005 earthquake in Kashmir that killed 75,000 people.
Trying times for government
The government faces resilient militants, who often try to capitalise on a lack of civil services to recruit disillusioned Pakistanis to take up arms against the state.
Authorities forecast more of the heavy monsoon rains that have been lashing the area for the past week. Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said more than 29,500 houses were damaged and a key trade highway to China was blocked by flooding.
Waters have receded in some flooded areas. But Unicef’s Malik expressed concern that waters were spreading from the worst hit province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Pakistan’s Punjab heartland, the major food-producing province, as well as the Sindh region.
Several parts of southern Punjab have been hit by floods.
The army said that 20,000 people have been rescued there.
In the northwest, the bloated, infected carcasses of animals floated on the water, raising the spectre of diseases such as cholera. Food prices are also rising sharply as agriculture has been wiped out, adding to the people’s misery.
“Roads to some districts are no longer there. Coping mechanisms of people are lost because they don’t have any assets to sell to buy food,” said Mohammad Rafiq from Unicef.
Source : dawn news
Recent events have made me stop in my tracks and think again and prioritize again what is most important in my life! Whatever that is you see around you, you feel as if the fitna (trial and afflictions) that have been foretold in the Ahadeeth are actually happening around us! Death, suffering, calamities, lies, deceit, zulm,etc. everything as they’ve been explained more than 1430 years ago.
The plane crash, the floods, and then famine, diseases, and then people in other cities killing one another as if there isn’t enough suffering and death all around the country without the gunpowder! Plus LIES! I mean there has to be a limit for how much you can lie shamelessly! I remember writing an article few months back that media should confirm and then say something on any news that’s been brought to them. Why was there a need to say that six people are taken out alive and are injured in the plane crash?! Why is there a pack of lies on tv all the time. Then you see all those tv men going in the places of calamities and plane crashes and they just go there for reporting and not bringing about any relief to the people living there who have suffered so much! I remember tv people reaching earthquake hit areas in helicopters and were not there to provide relief but just for reporting purposes!
Anyway, forget that. Imagine a minister on tv saying that for rehabilitation of all those flood struck people, we should provide them with LOANS! hadd hai! Later they’d ask those poor people to return it with 13% interest rate? And they would sit in their air conditioned rooms and eat away all our tax money and become fat! Where are those stupid NGOs who have been funded by US to work in Pakistan, maybe they are just entertaining blackwater army in here.
Time and again Quran says that “yahood-o-nasara” can never be your friends, but the leaders of this country would go on licking their boots and bowing to them for funds and loans and then eat away all that money and put the pressure of more tax on the poor people of this country!
These natural calamities, these sufferings, these deaths that we experience everyday, they are not a test! The test we have failed! This is the harvest of what we’ve sowed for so many years! It’s time that we stop in our tracks and we prioritize our aims in life! Because we don’t have time now… These are the times that we should stick to the “Rope of Allah” or else we’ll be washed away by the trials and afflictions that have hit us so hard!
Times like these when a blessing from God becomes a cause of concern, creating death and destruction for some, should shake people out of the usual routine and be a cause for reflection. Especially for those in charge of running the affairs of the country, the devastating floods in many districts should have served as a wake-up call. What we saw instead were the same old hackneyed images: the President planting a tree to inaugurate the plantation campaign and the Prime Minister surveying the flood-affected areas from a helicopter.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the concept of plantation drives or the Prime Minister being well-informed about the situation in flood-hit areas. The problem is that the two leading lights of Pakistan could be spending their time in activities that are more productive than the hypocritical symbolism of watering a sapling or helicopter rides over people in misery. Would the Prime Minister’s helicopter try to pick up someone marooned amidst the flood or drowning? Doesn’t it make more sense for the helicopter to be doing relief work rather than lugging around its honourable passenger?
The point is that other than showing their concern, which obviously is the idea behind these public relations exercises, these activities really amount to not much. If the President was really pushed about planting trees, he would not waste time making a show of it but actually do something about it. If he could put his heart and soul into riling up his jiyalas against the mysterious hidden hands through fiery speeches, he could also make an effort to use his influence over his party loyalists to enlist their support in the plantation campaign.
He could easily motivate his MNAs, MPAs, and partymen spread all over Pakistan and set a plantation target for each one of them for their respective areas. After all, these partymen are given targets for bussing people to the shows of strength organised for their leaders, and they happily comply. Planting trees would be less expensive and less of a hassle. Saplings do not need to be convinced and cajoled into travelling to the jalsas and they need not be given stipends and food boxes for the trip either. But clearly, the President is only interested in the show and is not really bothered about the success of the routine plantation campaign that should have turned Pakistan into a green haven by now if it had any substance.
Following is list of donation links, relief resources, organizations and individuals working to support flood victims of Pakistan, compiled from a facebook note Do you want to do your part in helping the Pakistani people displaced because of the recent flash flooding? Here is How ! Some details below:
Besides sending cash through below the organizations listed below, you can support by providing following commodities (please do not donate old/expired stuff. Make sure edible items are hygienic and properly packed):
* Clothing: Clothes of various sizes, Bedding, Shoes
* Utensils: Jerricans (large plastic cans that hold 20 liters of water or other liquids), Crockery, Buckets
* Toiletries: Tissues, Soaps, Dettol (antibacterial cleaners), Towels
* Food: Rice, Sugar, Flour (Atta), Onions, Potatoes, Cooking oil, Tea, Milk (tetra packs or powder), Safe drinking water, Cooked Food
1. Water purification tablets.
2. Life saving drugs.
3. Vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza.
4. Pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, kinz .
5. Antibiotics e.g. tetnus, amoxil, gentamycin.
6. IV cannulas
7. IV Drip sets
8. IV drips: normal saline, ringerlactate
9. Local anesthetics (injections)
10. Cotton bandages, cotton.
11. Surgical instruments: e.g needle holders, forceps, tweezers.
12. Suturing materials, Skin staples.
- Edhi Foundation: Donate here
- Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation
Title of Account: Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation
Account #: 0030445261000455
Name of Bank: MCB Bank (1028), Super Market, Islamabad-Pakistan
Swift Code: MUCBPKKAMCC
Tax Exemption: 6043/ATD/2008-09
- SUNGI: Donate here
- Pakistan Red Crescent Society (offices in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Muzaffarabad.
- Pakistani Youth (facebook group)
- Rescue & Relief Work ( Flood Survival)An independent group of students (facebook group)
- The Volunteers/ Voice of the Civil Society: VOTCS – a registered (No. DSW 3369-K) welfare organization in Pakistan, operating as a Non-Profit, Public Charity in the North America, Inc. – 501(C)(3) Organization(Tax Exempted). Sending provisions to affectees with the help of Pakistan Army. For more info call: Hadia khan @ +92-3018245999 Sadia Haroon @ +92-3218251122 Irum Farooque @ +92-3002332142. (For donations: HABIB BANK LIMITED ACCOUNT NO: 1549-79001393-03)
- RONAQ-E-QAINAAT – Young doctors are in the process of arranging a series of free medical camps in the flood affected areas. First Camp is at Nowshera. Please Contact Ms. Alina Akhyar at firstname.lastname@example.org, to email you the Trust’s past activities, bank account details and other queries. They have reportedly done some pretty impressive work. (Account number: 00400101065364, account title: Khadija Nadeem; Askari Bank Chaklala Scheme 3 branch Rawalpindi). Khadija is the founding member, handling all donations.
International Charity Organizations:
- UNHCR: Donate here. You can also mail your donations to UNHCR:
- UNHCR - UNHCR Canada
- UNICEF USA- Donate here
- United Nation’s World Food Programme: Donations are tax deductible for number of countries. Donate here
- Plan International ( Pakistan specific) donate here
- International Medical Corps
- IRC (The International Rescue Committee): donate here: http://www.theirc.org/news/irc-team-responds-devastating-floods-pakistan
- Save the Children
Rawalpindi: All available troops of Army in flood areas have been fully mobilized to carry out rescue and relief activities in concert with civil administration and have able to rescue more than 1500 people .
According to ISPR, in view of country wide torrential rains causing unprecedented and outrageous floods, loss of lives, property, livestock and damaged to communication infrastructure all available troops of Army in respective areas have been fully mobilized since yesterday to carry out rescue and relief activities in concert with civil administration.
Army Troops busy in relief operations are equipped with life jackets, motorboats, heavy rafts to shift families, luggage, cattle and other belongings. Army boats are being used to rescue the stranded people to safer places. Army engineers are busy in opening the roads and making the diversions to facilitate the flow of the traffic at flood inundated roads round the clock.
Army teams are working at Charsada, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mansehra, Swat, Tank, Marwat districts and Khyber Agency of FATA. Through hectic efforts, the army has been able to rescue more than 1500 people at Munda Gucha area of Manshera, Tank Tedi Bazar, Shangi, Kota Khusta, Khyber Agency, Ningolia, Charbagh, Nall Daroshkela, Koray, Dad Pand area of Swat. Corps Commander Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik visited various parts of flood affected areas of districts Charsadda, Peshawar, Nowshera and witnessed on going rescue and relief operation.
In the wake of worsening flood situation more troops have been put on high alert and were directed to pre position themselves to tackle any untoward situation. Situation at Tanda Dam is being closely monitored. Pakistan Army has set up flood monitoring cell in Corps Headquarters where latest flood situation is monitored and coordination is made with civil administration. The emergency numbers of Army Flood Information centre are 091-2012364 and 091-2014719.
Source : onlinenews.com
Pakistan is yet again hit with a natural calamity. The recent rains and following floods have severely affected life in various parts of Pakistan. The disaster is immense, hundreds of thousands of people are displaced (IDPs) and still many missing with casualties increasing daily. Numerous remote areas of the northern regions; Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province are completely drowned in water.
As the needs of IDPs seek support, telecom operators have responded to this call of humanity and have pledged funds for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees. Telenor Pakistan committed Rs. 100 million where as Mobilink and OTH (Orascom Telecom Holding) have pledged Rs. 85 million.
In this hour of need, where millions have been affected by devastating floods across the country, Telenor Pakistan stands by its brethren. We will contribute through donating funds, offering our telecommunication services and volunteering our collective employee efforts towards the rehabilitation of the affectees. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the destruction caused by recent floods. We are sure that this humble effort will help those who need it most.
Chief Strategy Officer and VP Corporate Affairs, Telenor Pakistan
In addition to committing funds at the company level, Mobilink has also set up a short code to enable Mobilink users to contribute Rs. 10 (plus tax) by texting “Flood” to 616 or deposit donations to Mobilink Foundation account (account # 0401-0028266-0001) by visiting any NIB branch. Mobilink has also set up a salary fund to enable employees to donate towards this cause.
This is a national tragedy that requires each one of us to respond with support that is tangible and urgency which is critical. As one of the largest private sector organizations in the country, Mobilink has always been at the forefront in supporting our fellow citizens in times such as these. We have an experienced team who have been a part of Mobilink’s efforts in the 2005 earthquake, Balochistan floods and more recently the IDPs Relief efforts as well as a generous employee and subscriber base that makes us ideally positioned to deliver effectively.
President & CEO, Mobilink
What was till today described as the worst floods in Pakistan’s history has now been termed as the biggest disaster ever to strike the country. Report by Anita Joshua in The Hindu
An update to my earlier post Pakistan floods: Links to send donations, relief goods.Please see Rural Support Programme flood appeal. Details in Shandana Khan’s email below – she earlier worked with the internally displaced after the exodus from Swat and other areas following the army operation against militants. She writes:
The RSP Network will provide your donations to its member organisations or Rural Support Programmes, in Punjab, Pukhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan and AJK. The RSPs are working with flood victims. The RSPs will assist flood victims mainly through their existing community networks and field-based offices in the flood affected districts.
The RSP Network is registered in Pakistan as a non-profit and is the largest network of non-government, rural development organisations or Rural Support Programmes with an outreach to 3 million rural households. See www.rspn.org for donation details. For queries contact Amina Askari at email@example.com
SHANDANA H. KHAN
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
NO 7, STREET 49, SECTOR F 6/4