Matter of Concern...

 

 

Pakistan again preparing for flood disaster……

 

pakistan-flood-2011-malcThe monsoons that enveloped much of Pakistan last year have once again caused untold misery, especially in rural Sindh and Central Punjab, forcing people to abandon their homes and leave behind their livestock, households and business. Last year, the main culprit was River Indus; this year it is rain which swelled all channels including canals. The rains that continued for about three days last week has caused havoc and created a flood like situation in the lower parts of Sindh and Punjab. Two districts Badin and Mirpurkhas of Sindh and Kasur in Punjab were among severely hit areas, resulting in thousands of people stranded in flooded villages. A large number of people, including women and children have been displaced who have taken shelter on road side and other nearby government buildings.

 

MALC's Disaster Response Cell if making surveys in the flood affected areas for need assessment. Our Relief Teams are in close coordination with local staff and are prepared to respond if funds are available for food, non-food items and tents for Sindh as well as Kasur in Central Punjab.

 

Various government reports and TV news say the floods have inundated hundreds of villages in Mirpurkhas, Badin, and Thatta districts in Sindh and submerged several villages in Kasur in the Central Punjab as a result of water spilled by India into the River Satluj which mounted its water level to an alarming point and inundated dozens of villages and destroyed the ready crops on a vast land comprising hundreds of hectares.

 

The displaced people facing shortage of food and drinking water as large number of displaced people staying in the open along canal banks and other higher places have not received any government help. These households need food, temporary shelters, WASH and health interventions and other necessities on emergency basis. The affected people have lost all their belongings while their poor shelters made of mud collapsed due to strong winds with heavy rains. They do not have ration, fuel wood and even the drinking water. The flooding water has also destroyed hundreds of fish farms in the coastal areas.

 

MALC's Disaster Response Cell if making surveys in the flood affected areas for need assessment. Our Relief Teams are in close coordination with local staff and are prepared to respond if funds are available for food, non-food items and tents for Sindh as well as Kasur in Central Punjab.

 

 

Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in KPK

 

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the worst affected province of the country by the floods. The disaster wiped over 200,000 houses, killed 1,198 people and displaced about 5 million people from their homes. With financial support from our long-standing funding partners DAHW/GLRA, Germany and Caritas St. Pölten Austria, MALC had taken active part in the relief work providing food, temporary shelter and utensils to the affected families. The most important segment of the relief work was to reach out to people trapped in Kalam, Atror and Matlan as the roads were completely destroyed left no way except to reach them by helicopters. Despite these challenges, MALC team completed the task efficiently with the help of Pakistan Army who not only provided helicopter services but also supported in the distribution of food hampers. Immediately after successful completion of the relief phase, MALC has launched its Reconstruction and Rehabilitation activities in the province. The four most affected districts of Charsadda, Nowshera, Swat and Kohistan are at the top of priority list with a target of 250 houses.

 

 

Preference in beneficiary selection is given to widows, families headed by disabled persons, orphans and elderly persons. The progress of construction work is rapidly moving towards completion. 33 houses in Charsadda have been completed, 15 houses are near to completion. 11 houses in Swat have been completed and 5 houses in progress. 13 houses in Pattan have been completed and 10 houses have reached to roof level. MALC has given due priority to disabled persons in the rehabilitation process. 25 houses belongs to families having disabled persons. These disabled persons are also being supported with socio-economical rehabilitation to set up small business.

 

 

 

 

Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Sindh

 

flood-reconsturctionThe floods after the massive destruction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, largely affected the Sindh province where more than 4,000 villages and vast area of ready crop was submerged in flood water. The affected areas of Sindh are considered very much rich in fisheries, wheat, rice, sugar cane and other miscellaneous cash crops which were completely inundated. The post-flood scenario was threatening because there were acute shortages of food. The loss of stored planting seeds including wheat, the major staple food crop, had rendered affected farming households extremely vulnerable. It was critical to ensure that wheat was planted in October/November 2010. If the season was missed, many farmers would have been unable to plant wheat for 12 months signifying the loss of two staple food harvests. Keeping in view the urgent need of people, MALC decided to give top priority to agriculture by providing seeds, fertilizers and other agriculture equipment to the farmers to plough their land. The concerned local team had identified the deserving clusters of 443 families who had been cared with food, shelter, medical assistance and other relief goods in the tent villages adopted by MALC during the relief phase. 339 families have been supported with seeds, fertilizers and miscellaneous agriculture equipment to plough their land for wheat cultivation and sunflower in other cases; 175 families were able to avail the Rabi's cultivation due to time constraint. However, it was with timely action that the dry fields have now turned to green with seeds provided by MALC.

 

Life is returning to its normalcy; the farmers are glad to see their green fields and the yellow layer of sunflowers and mustard flowers which will soon give them food. MALC has also started construction of houses in areas where agriculture intervention has been successfully completed. In the first phase, construction work is starting from Jatti Village in Thatta. The village had been under water of more than 10 feet. The villagers had moved to safer places and lived in tent village of MALC. With seeds, the families have planted sunflower, sugar-cane, mustard and wheat which are growing up. The families are keen to rebuilding their lives and restoring their livelihoods soon, thus each and every member of the community is fully participating at every step of development. MALC has ensured them with food for at least 4 to 5 months and providing food hampers of dry ration on monthly basis. MALC is also facilitating these poor farmers in tube-wells. After canals, tube-wells are the second largest source of water which not only irrigate a significant acreage of land but also provide drinking water. The flood had played havoc with these field based tube-wells which were completely destroyed.

 

 

FLOOD RELIEF ACTIVITIES BY MARIE ADELAIDE LEPROSY CENTRE

 

MALC-FLOOD-RELEIF-GLRA-GERMANYMarie Adelaide Leprosy Centre is actively participating in the relief efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Sindh including Karachi where hundreds of vulnerable displaced families have come from different parts of flood affected areas to save their lives. The relief activities were made possible by our long-standing partners German Leprosy & TB Relief Association, Germany and Caritas St. Poelten, Austria as well as some local supporters who responded to our call and immediately provided funds for providing relief to the victims.

 

MALC’s flood relief drive includes provision of food hampers, tents for shelter, utensils, water barrels and coolers, floor mats and cooked-food to the affected families currently living under open sky in Kandhkot, Shikarpur, Larkana, Mehar, Hyderabad and Jamshoro in Sindh including Karachi, Ghizer in Gilgit Baltistan and Buner, Charsadda, Nowshera, Kohistan and Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Kalam which is still cut off from rest of the country due to destroyed bridges and roads.

 

Medical assistance being provided through Medical camps; 24 Medical Camps have been conducted in Swat, Nowshera, Buner, Charsada and Kohistan districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6 camps in Karachi, 1 in Thatta and 2 in Hyderabad with the help of volunteer doctors and paramedics where over 10,000 patients have been treated and seeing another 150 patients daily in regular OPDs.

So far, MALC has distributed:

 

Relief Goods

Kyber Pakhtunkhwa

Gilgit Baltistan

Azad Kashmir

Sindh

Karachi

Total

Food Hampers

3,701

310

500

1,528

1,400

7,439

Tents

380

-

-

400

202

982

Water Coolers

-

-

-

-

100

100

Water Barrels

-

-

-

6

44

50

Utensils (Mix)

-

-

-

50

100

150

Cots (Charpai)

-

-

-

-

100

100

Mats/Daries

-

-

-

250

250

500

Cooked food

-

-

-

-

570

570

Clothes (Mix)

-

-

-

-

2,432

2,432

Medical Camps

24

-

-

3

6

33

 

MALC has also established Tent Villages for IDPs as under:

Fakira Goth with 43 families and Bhitaiabad with 50 families in Karachi, Jamshoro with 65 families, Mehar Dadu with 50 families, Rato Dero with 30 families, Bangal Dero with 20 families and Khanpur with 50 families in Sindh.

 

Our relief teams in northern parts are taking help from Pakistan Army to reach out the difficult to reach areas for distribution of relief goods. Currently we are making arrangements for reaching out to areas beyond Kalam like Utror, Mankial and Matiltan via helicopter as they are inaccessible through roads.

 

Dr. Ruth Pfau, Founder member of MALC and Mr. Shakil Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer are personally monitoring the entire relief activities and making visits to the affected areas to ensure optimum coverage of relief work and to encourage team members who are working day and night to provide relief to the helpless population.

 

MALC would also take part in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of victims. A comprehensive action plan has been worked out and submitted to our donor agencies who have shown interest for financial assistance. The rehabilitation activities would include reconstruction and repairing of houses, and socio-economical help of poor communities by providing them seeds, livestock and setting up small businesses for families who have lost everything in the floods.

 

 

tent-villages-malc-campLet them not be satisfied with just giving money, but they need your hands to hold them...

 

It has now been more than a month since the nation is fighting against the deadliest floods seen by the region in last eighty years. More than 1600 people have lost their lives so far, with majority in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. At present the flood water is passing through the southern province of Sindh, where millions are forced to leave their homes and take shelter in the temporary relief camps or stay under the open sky. The Pakistani Government with the help of international and national relief agencies is trying hard to save the lives and property of millions affected.  While the individual concerns are limited to loss of lives and property, this flood has virtually shredded the vast infrastructure of schools, hospitals, electricity, and communication. The initial estimates show housing the worst hit area, but it is expected that the loss of agriculture land and livestock will also go into billions.  Moreover the calamity has turned back the development activities in the country as it will take years if not decades to recover from the widespread destruction.

 

Government especially the armed forces started the rescue efforts at the outset of floods in the north. International community also extended their help and soon a mass rescue and relief campaign began with the help of NGOs, corporations, media houses, and individuals. However the sheer magnitude of the catastrophe has limited the timely provision of needed support to all affectees.  As efforts are being scaled up to provide food, shelter and clean drinking water for all who became homeless, there is looming danger of diseases and food shortage in the coming days. With compromised living, the risks of all kinds of diseases including cholera epidemic are imminent. And it all now depends on the availability of required medicines for the sick and clean water, proper food and shelter for the healthy to minimize further misery and death.

 

MALC is one of those non-profit organizations, which began an immediate relief program for the flood affectees initially in the north and later in south with food, water, tents and medicines. So far with the generous support of our international friends i.e. German Leprosy & TB Relief Association, Germany and Caritas St. Poelten, Austria we have been able to distribute:

 

- 4,678  Food Hampers of Dry Ration
- 3,000  Water coolers
- 624  Tents
- 192  Sets of Utensils
- 50  Plastic Drums for water
- 50  Courts (Charpai)
- 500  Plastic Mats/Rugs
- 500  Packs of cooked food


Beside this,

 

MALC team has also arranged 3 medical camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3 in Karachi and 2 camps in Sindh with the help of volunteer doctors and paramedical workers. Over 4,000 patients have been provided necessary medical treated through these camps. Most critical patients were referred to the hospital for better care.  One delivery case was also successfully handled. Regular OPDs are continued at an average of 150 patients per day.

 

MALC has also established 3 Tent Villages:

 

- One at Jamshoro, Sindh with 65 families,
- One at Meher Dadu, Sindh with 50 families, and
- One in Faqira Goth at Karachi with 43 families.

 

Two more Tent Villages are being established in Sindh; one at Shikarpur and one in Larkana.

 

MALC teams are working day and night to provide relief to the helpless population.

 

MALC team working in the northern part of the country has coordinated well with Pakistan Army to send relief goods to the inaccessible Kalam and Kandia Valley via helicopters. The army has also agreed to provide security to our team during the distribution of relief items. 

 

The biggest disaster in the history of the country is going to leave its imprints on the economy and every day life. With more than 8 million hectare of the most fertile land being submerged in flood water, there are already fears that the farmers will miss the next harvest resulting in another shortfall. Repair and reconstruction of the lost infrastructure will put extra pressure on drying exchequer. Just the thought of millions of homeless and hungry people in a country marred with weak governance and religious extremism can cause nervousness to any sensible human being.  There is an increasing need for all the stakeholders to join hand and pool their sincere efforts and resources till all the losses are regained and rehabilitation of the last flood victim is complete.

 

 

 

Flood situation update….

 

After all the destruction in the northern part of the country, flood water continues to play havoc in the southern province of Sindh. The situation is more or less the same and every day there are some more villages or towns under the threat of inundation and the population being asked to evacuate. It is expected that the flood water will start entering into the Indian Ocean by the end of coming week. But who knows, how much more death and devastation it still has to unfold…..??  

 

As of now the first wave of flood water is around the city of Hyderabad (150 km from Karachi) before it turns towards the city of Thatta on its way towards the sea. Flood affectees from Sindh have already started coming to Karachi in a number of relief camps being established in different parts of the city. The team at MALC headquarters in Karachi has already initiated relief activities for the flood victims in Karachi and the rest of Sindh. At least two medical camps have been conducted for the affectees in Karachi till date. MALC has also set up emergency TB control centres for flood victims in coordination with Provincial Tb Control Program to ensure the regularity of treatment and minimize the default. 

 

Widespread annihilation of such an unprecedented scale is feared to reverse the wheels of country’s staggering economy. With more than 15 million population being affected, this catastrophe has outnumbered the combined affectees of Indian Tsunami, Kashmir and Haiti earthquake.  It is already expected that post flood Pakistan will be marred with food shortage and rising inflation, which will be strenuous for the already struggling population. While the government and international relief workers strive to get food, shelter, medicine, and clean water to millions of flood-stricken Pakistanis, there are growing concerns about the long term effects of this calamity on the nation’s economy and well being.

 

 

Stories

 

‘’I was unable to find the steps of neighbor’s staircase, holding my youngest daughter in my arms I tried one more time but, lost my balance and slipped. My last step proved last breath of my daughter. She fell down from my arms and the water took her far away. I didn’t find her body again’’. Bibi Aaman – Charsadda

 

‘’My house, my crops, my food stock, my whole life asset – my village was drowning in front of my eyes and I could not do anything. Water level was increasing as if it wanted to take away everything from us. I, with other fellow villagers was staying in a school of adjacent village and praying for everyone’s safety’’. Syed Roze Khan – Charsadda

 

‘’The level of water reached up to our beds. I was dumbfounded to see heavy water in my house. Then I noticed that one of my children is missing. Water was pushing me hard and suddenly I saw my son at a distance, holding up to a tree and crying for help. With great struggle I approached and saved my son’’. Anwar Ali - Charsadda

 

“My wife and two beloved daughters live in other village and I work in another. When the rain started, I heard that it is flood warning from government and that my village is in danger as river swelled up. When I reached to my village, there was nothing left, nor my house neither my family, they were drowned. I saw my daughter in dream. She was saying, ‘’Papa I am sleeping here, come and take me’’. This dream keeps me restless to-date. I was dying to dig out her and one day I found dead body of my elder daughter, she was eight’’.  Afzal – Charsadda

 

‘’We do not have ration nor a single grain of flour in our house left. For the last three weeks, I and my family are surviving on bread and pickles. The fire wood is soaked in water so we are breaking off legs of wooden bed and making fire to lit stove’’. Maqbool Anjum – Khanpur

 

These hurting stories and helpless fellows are few of millions encountered by MALC team during emergency relief work and there could be thousand more which we haven’t heard yet.

 

The devastation in the country is huge and rebuilding would need billions of rupees to fix the damage. MALC workers are trying to organize medical camps to prevent water borne diseases like diarrhea, asthma, skin allergies and perhaps cholera in flood hit areas and distributing food hampers to save as many affectees from starvation as possible.

 

 

RELIEF WORK IN KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA

 

malc-team-food-distributionBy far with the generous support of our international friends i.e. German Leprosy & TB Relief Association, Germany and Caritas St. Poelten, Austria we have been able to:

 

- Distribute Food Hampers to:

     

135 families in Swat district
270 families in Kohistan district
200 families in Buner district, and
1,000 families in Charsada & Noshera districts along with 224 tents

 

The food hampers include the following:

 

Wheat Flour, Sugar, Rice, Cooking Oil, Tea, Dry Milk, Pulses, Candles, Match Boxes, Soap and Biscuits for children

 

- Manage to get 12 voluntary doctors (9 male and 3 females) with commitment for a month. A team of three doctors (2 M and 1 F) along with three paramedics are moving around in camps on a daily basis. Since the need for medicines is huge, some volunteers have also collected medicines and providing to our teams.

 

- Provide in Buner medical assistance to 550 persons in a day, and on a daily basis one person is checking on average 100-150 people.

 

 

CEO Mr. Shakil has gone to the northern part of the country to visit some of the affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and to oversee the relief work. His presence will surely encourage our workers, who have been working day and night to provide relief to the helpless population.

 

 

The devastating floods in Pakistan...

 

pakistan-flood-2010The already food insecure population where 77 million people go hungry in Pakistan while 36% of the population are afflicted by poverty. The situation in Pakistan has developed into a worse case scenario as the government has already declared it as the worst flood in the country’s history. The ravaging flood has moved towards south leaving behind approx 1,500 dead, 900 missing, and innumerable displaced and devastating damage to agriculture, houses and livestock. 250 houses in Kohistan have also been reported completely destroyed. Getting food supply is getting more and more challenging. In mountains due to broken road links, food supply is being transported on mules back and in some areas boats have come into action. Due to scarcity of potable water another emergency has developed for clean drinking water and relief efforts are also directed towards provision of water in containers.

 

 

What MALC exactly doing?


With the financial support from German Leprosy Relief Association, Germany MALC has started action and funds are being transferred to accounts in areas which are most inaccessible and food hampers are being arranged for distribution to the affected families. In other areas of Charsadda, Mardan and Nowshera districts the spontaneous statement from one of our worker was “The devastation is unbelievable, how will the country manage relief to every nook and corner is beyond our comprehension”. The networking with communities of our leprosy workers is paying dividends as the trust in the leprosy team is very much there. Unlike the backlash of the general flood affectees on the ones taking photos and disappearing without providing any relief. Some of the project staff of the earthquake era who is also actively involved in the affected areas is a part of our team, which is a great help in organizing the relief work.  The workers are trying to organize medical camps as the food hampers can save people from starvation and medical camps can prevent many casualties. The water borne diseases and extreme conditions is having a toll on the people, among them mostly women, children and senior citizens. Medical teams of both government and relief organizations have vaccinated more than 100,000 people against various diseases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly North Western Frontier Province.

 

The food prices are sky rocketing and with the supply line being cut off reports are coming in of starvation in certain inaccessible areas. The overall country situation in this regard is also not very encouraging as there is a general shortage. MALC is trying to deliver food and other essential items to the affected people at relief centres and in villages within the limited means.

 

MALC as mentioned earlier is still fortunate to have its team that is present in the affected areas. Funds are being made available in these areas through on line transfers or goods are supplied on credit as the team is known in their areas. We have started with delivering food hampers in areas that are blocked as supply was still available within the affected area markets. In other areas MALC team has started to place orders for food hampers, pots and water containers from markets and Utility Stores in the Twin Cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, three to four hours drive from the nearest affected area of Nowshera, Charsadda and Mardan.

 

The flood is moving direction South, is there information ………..


The flood continues to ravage towns and villages in south Punjab. Gushing Indus (River) water turned Kot Addu town into a virtual lake and submerged the adjoining paths of smaller towns. Because of flooding, oil supply to the Kot Addu power plant has been cut and it is generating only 300 megawatts against a capacity of 1500 megawatts. The plant is also under threat and it may be closed down soon. This is only one of the many problems caused by the flood.

 

Do Pakistani people help their flood affected countrymen / women?


The Pakistanis who are in position to do something surely contribute, but the number is very small. There are local NGOs and of course the government is chipping in what ever resources they had ear-marked for development projects for the year 2010-2011, which means that development funds are being diverted for relief work and that, too, to the areas accessible. Still there are many areas which are totally cut off. But in some of them our team that was already present there are doing their bit to alleviate peoples’ misery till links are restored.

 

Please donate generously to

 

MALC Emergency Relief Fund Account No. 01-7423462-01 at Standard Chartered Bank

 

and help the poor families especially women and children.

 

 

Saroona-Project

A Life that could have been saved…

 

While writing about Ishaq, are we trying to cash on his tragic death to get funds from our supporters, or trying to show the other side of the world that exists outside city life?

 

Sarona may be a godforsaken place for a city dweller, but for the inhabitants it is their paradise. With no basic facilities of health and utilities, the thought of what they are deprived of is beyond their imagination. Ishaq a Multi-drug Resistant TB case was picked up by our team starting community development work in a grossly underserved area in Khuzdar district of Balochistan. The only son of his parents in a place where infant mortality is extremely high faced a 50-50 chance of survival. The team headed by Dr. Ruth Pfau who were on a tour of Sarona put him in their vehicle, risking their own lives of contracting drug resistant TB brought him to Karachi, where he died during treatment at Ojha Institute.

 

Ishaq is gone but there are hundreds of Ishaqs who are surviving on the threshold of human miseries in areas that do not appear on the maps of Pakistan. These communities do not ask for much, what they need is their basic right for survival as normal human beings. The death of Ishaq has  knocked at the door of our conscience; what are we here for? How can we contribute to ensure that tomorrow’s Ishaq does not meet the same fate? ...