‘In the political tug of war it’s the poor and helpless that hurt the most’

Medical camp in a village near Dadu, Sindh

“I, an American, a New Yorker used to the harsh winter and snowy weather yet, I am freezing in Pakistan. My heart goes out to those suffering the cold winter without shelter, blankets, clothing. May God provide you with his soldiers to keep fighting for the injustices meted out to you. May we all be able to look beyond the differences and reach out a helping hand.” – Geet Chainani, Dec 15, 2010

My article on an Indian-American doctor who comes to Pakistan in search of her Sindhi roots… and finds a sense of peace working for flood-affected women and children, published in Aman ki Asha, March 2, 2011 (as another Indian put it – “not Akhand Bharat, but Akhand Insaniyat”) Continue reading

Transparency for Flood Donations – Isa Daudpota

From longtime friend, activist, media-watcher and accountability-demander Isa Daudpota in Islamabad:

Transparency for Flood Donations

Q. Isa Daudpota

Pakistanis and foreign donors recoil at the general lack of credibility of the government and other institutions when it comes to proper utilization of funds.  It is important that this perception is removed quickly if one is to move beyond the immediate relief funding for the flood, which will dwarf in comparison with long-term rehabilitation of people and infrastructure restoration. Continue reading

Floods turn the world’s hottest place into an island

Ghari Kheru, Dist. Jacobabad, Aug 19, 2010.

A query from Lahore the other day about whether the town of Jacobabad was submerged got me on the phone with friends to inquire. Fortunately, it was just a rumour. But in the process, I got information that had to be used… hence this feature, published in The News today.

Floods turn the world’s hottest place into an island

Beena Sarwar

Jacobabad is famous for being one of the hottest places in the world with temperatures reaching up to 52°C in summer, April-Sept. This year, the unprecedented floods in Pakistan have done nothing to cool things down for this colonial town. Temperatures in Jacobabad district, on the border of Sindh and Balochistan, remain excruciatingly high despite floodwaters submerging surrounding areas.

Jacobabad area map showing flooded area in red.

The old town of Jacobabad, founded in 1947 by a British General John Jacob, is for now at least a virtual island, accessible only by boat despite its distance from the river. Gen. Jacob, commandant of the Sindh Horse for years, died and was buried here in 1858. Today the Victorian tower erected in his memory watches over an almost abandoned town. Continue reading

Helping HANDS – flood relief, reliable NGO

Medical camp, Kashmore

Health and Nutrition Development Society, HANDS, is one of Pakistan’s largest non-profit organisations, working since 1979 in the sectors of health, education, poverty alleviation, water and sanitation, infrastructure development, emergency response through social mobilization, advocacy & capacity building. Their work targets more than 8 million people from 14,962 villages in 18 districts of Sindh & Balochistan. These are photos from their medical camp at BS Feeder Band near Kandhkot-Kashmore district.
“These medical camps are supported by UNICEF. A German journalist also visited the camp through boat. Thousands of people are sitting at BS feeder surrounded by water. Access to them for any food, medical supplies is only by BOATS. HANDS installed few hand pumps, pit latrines and providing food and medical services through boats,” writes Zafar Ali Dehraj, HANDS General Manager, Social Mobilization, Advocacy & Disaster Management.

Contact HANDS Flood Response Center Sindh
B-67, Street#4, Hamdard Coopertaive Society, Airport Road Sukkur, Pakistan.
Cell: (+92) 302-8222650
Office: Phone: (+92) 71-5633881
Fax: (+92) 21-34559252

Personal note: Flood relief in remote Kohistan, by Rashida Dohad

Agreeing on the process of distribution, Kandia Valley, District Kohistan. Photos: courtesy OAK Foundation

Distributing food in Kandia Valley, Kohistan

Below, a personal note of Aug 25, 2010 about flood relief efforts in Kohistan, from Rashida Dohad, who works with the Omar Asghar Khan Foundation (see website for updates, an overview of their flood relief efforts and photo gallery). As explained on the website, floods have affected 16 (nine severely) of the 24 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Many in need of urgent aid are difficult to access as areas are isolated due to road/bridge destruction/damage; and blockages due to landslides. The Foundation is initially focusing on the following districts: Nowshera, Charsadda, Shangla, Kohistan, Battagram and Mansehra.” Read on for Rashida’s account of their rather dramatic recent trip to the remote Kandian Valley in Kohistan: Continue reading

Updated: PIA offers Free Airlift of Relief Goods

Updated: PIA offers Free Airlift of Relief Goods thru its Domestic & International Network

60 Pakistan artists donate works; silent auction for flood relief

60 Pakistan artists have donated their works at a silent auction at Koel cafe in Karachi. Ends today (Aug 18) 6.30 pm. All proceeds will go to Pakistan flood relief work. See Express Tribune report at http://bit.ly/b8jeFG

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