For those looking for credible organisations to contribute to or work with, here’s information about Indus Resource Centre’s flood relief work in Sindh, based on an email update from Sadiqa Salahuddin, the well known educationist who runs IRC. They have been working with girls’ education in the Khairpur area of Sindh for many years; Sadiqa Apa is also a very dear friend (IRC contact details are at the end of this post). The most urgent need is for dry food – basic essentials for ten days for a family of six cost around Rs 3,000 (details below). During the Eid holidays, she spent six days in Khairpur and then in Hyderabad while her colleagues assessed the situation in Khairpur and Mirpurkhas districts. Immediately after Eid, she went to Badin (which was then accessible by road from Karachi). She writes:
“We decided not to work in Badin as enough support was promised for the district. It was among the first severely damaged districts and because of the presence of a high profile MNA/Speaker it got media and donor attention.
So we decided to work in Khairpur in the North where we are based and were requested by the DCO for support, and in the South in Mirpurkhas as we have an office in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas is easily accessible from there.
In Khairpur, our teams are registering affectees and distributing food bags and tents. Till yesterday (Sept 15), we distributed 1,857 food bags, 1,074 tents, 363 mosquito nets and 145 kitchen sets. We have also started installation of temporary latrines where displaced population is sitting without any facilities. 50 latrines in Khairpur and 70 in Mirpurkhas are under process (one latrine costs us approx. Rs 6,000 to Rs 6,500). We are also distributing Jerry cans (20 litre capacity) and water purification tablets (from our last year’s stock). Local volunteers are explaining the process to the communities.
Needless to say that there is a great need for food. Since the rain has stopped for the last two days, dry food bags can be distributed. A bag containing basic essentials for 10 days for a family of six will cost around Rs 3,000. Distribution will be a challenge because people are behaving in a hostile and rowdy manner.
Situation Assessment of the area:
Briefly speaking, in Khairpur three tehsils, Thari Mirwah, Faiz Ganj and Nara are severely hit by heavy rains and according to the District Government, 100 % cotton crop is destroyed. In Mirpurkhas all the six tehsils and 41 union councils are badly affected and there has been great loss of livelihoods (cotton, sugarcane and chillies). More than 87,000 houses have been reported partially or fully damaged.
The main issues are as follows:
Registration of affectees is not easy because of accessibility to the villages and inadequate interest of teachers responsible for the task
It is affecting food distribution which is only for ration card holders
Food is the major issue as the district government has provided food only once (till our visit) to those who are moved to government identified camps, the rest are not getting any support
There is no proper arrangement of medical facilities neither from Government nor from the NGOs
There has been an outbreak of skin disease, flu, gastro and malaria
People are drinking stagnant flood water, and are demanding safe drinking water
Temporary latrines have not yet been installed and school latrines are insufficient and non-functional
Protection of most vulnerable particularly women and children also seems to be one of the major issues.
Apart from these common issues, Mirpurkhas has 18 % population from the minority communities (bheel, kohlis, bagris known as scheduled castes) who are landless farmers, wage labourers and are in some cases are bonded also. These communities are twice discriminated – on the basis of class and also on religion. They are the ones who have no homes are sitting on both sides of Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road. IRC is working with this community.
I am going to Mirpurkhas tomorrow and will update you later. Please help us to help others. The bank details are as under:
Title A/C: Indus Resource Centre
Habib Bank LTD
US$ A/c# : 00120250022610
PKR A/C#: 00120001651403B
SWIFTCODE #: HABBPKKA
Branch Code #: 0012
Address: ZamZama Branch, D.H.A Phase V, Karachi
Indus Resource Centre office address:
D-42, Block 1, Clifton, Near Ziauddin Hospital, Karachi