‘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

Flood relief: Aitemad Pakistan (good people)

Please see email below from friend and activist Naeem Sadiq re Aitemad Pakistan, an organisation formed for flood relief. This is a highly trustworthy (Aitemad in fact means ‘trust’) group of people most of whom I know personally, including the sender, Naeem Sadiq, Justice Fakhruddin Ebrahim, his son Zahid Ebrahim, Dr Samrina Hashmi, Dr Sher Shah Syed, Nazim Haji and others. Please spread the word. They are putting together and distributing 24,000 dry ration bags, to provide approximately two million meals (6000 families for 4 weeks). Each bag costs approx Rs.1500 (less than US $ 20 a bag).

Continue reading

Flood relief efforts in Sindh & contact details

Flood displaced people in Nowshera, KPK. Photo: Reuters/ Adrees Latif

Information compiled from email received this morning from Maqsood Ali Joyo (grandson of Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo), Petarian 2k007 Jinnah House, Junior Engineer ACE (Pvt) Ltd. Tel. +92 333 2760276:

Floods have forced thousands of people to migrate from Ghotki, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur and Jacobabad. In the latest development 90% of Jacobabad has been evacuated. Special trains have been mobilised for the refugees, heading towards Hyderabad and Karachi. There may be some other camps but so far our civil society teams, political parties and media friends have identified four camps in Karachi: Continue reading

Flood relief – TCF aims to provide 20 million meals

Information on flood relief fund set up by The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a leading non-profit organisation formed by Pakistanis for Pakistanis. This is a reliable NGO with a long track record in education, and also in relief work during the 2005 earthquake. TCF provides formal education to 92,000 less privileged children throughout the country and in AJ&K. TCF will use its network of 660 purpose-built school units in hundreds of rural areas and urban slums located in 68 towns and cities across Pakistan to provide 20 million meals in 30 days to flood affected people.

TCF is putting together ration bags containing flour, rice, cooking oil/ghee, lentils, dried milk, sugar, salts and spices, dates etc. Each bag will feed a family for a month and is worth approx PKR 2,500 (USD 30) including transport. Any amount of donation is welcomed. Donations can be sent to TCF in several ways. Email info@thecitizensfoundation.org for more info or see this link for more information including direct online link for donations.

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