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Rubina Bhatti Reports About Pakistan Flood

16 Sep

We are all connected.

Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Taangh Wasaib Organization in Pakistan

Rubina Feroze Bhatti of Pakistan said in her article at Peace X Peace: “We Are All In the Hole Together: A Reflection on Volunteerism”

“Pakistan is now undergoing the greatest humanitarian crisis in its history. It will take years if not generations to repair the physical, economic and emotional damage.”

“I traveled in different districts of Punjab to help flood affected people, but I found the situation in Layyah the worst. Everything is very little over here – the food, the fodder, the water and the shelter. What is more is here – the wisdom, the courage and the hope. People are surrounded by water but they know how to make a boat. I have seen people putting a charpai [bed] on drums and making a boat to rescue their beloved ones.”

A passionate volunteer told me this with shining eyes. And then he paused. He had just returned from a few days spent in District Layyah. Sitting with volunteers is a daily routine in these days. We commit, plan and act to help the unreachable people of flooded areas. These volunteers are our energy, our motivation and our courage.

He broke his silence and said, “I am so moved by the guts of flood victims of District Layyah that I want to go back to them.”

“Why?” I asked.

“To tell them We are with you. Let’s make a boat.”

On behalf of Taangh Wasaib Organization, I express my deep gratitude to our local and international volunteers who are with us during the worst time of our history. I salute you! You have been spending your days and nights with flood affected people in different districts of Punjab. My special thanks to our courageous female volunteers who have been away from their homes, walking through mud, stones and standing water to see the disaster through a gender lens and help women to the best of their abilities. The food and non-food items provided to flood victims are insufficient, but the care, respect and bond you have shared with them is beyond calculation.

Because You Are Special

We sometimes take for granted
In the rush of all we do.
And forget to say a special thanks
To volunteers like you!

So we send this note to tell you
How much all you do means.
Your gifts of time and of yourself
Are special ones indeed.

To contribute much-needed flood relief to Pakistan, please refer to these organizations:

Taangh Wasaib Organization

Aurat Foundation’s Motherland Flood Relief Campaign

UNICEF

Relief International

Pakistan Needs Massive International Assistance

21 Aug

Six to Eight Million Flood Victims in Pakistan Require Emergency Assistance.

According to reports from non-gonvermental organizations like Taangh Wasaib Organization (TWO) in Pakistan, there are millions of people suffering from lack of food, water, lack of shelter and from water borne illness and other medical problems.

Rubina Feroze Bhatti from Taangh Wasaib Organization http://www.taangh.org.pk/ reported the need to reach people in the high flooded areas such as Kalabagh, Mari Indus, Wandha Kukran Wala, Moch, Watta Khel, Daud Khel, Kamar Mashani, Tarrag, Kaloor Shareef, Khagian Wala and Essa Khel. The TWO provides Flood Updates on its website. In addition, TWO has assisted flood victims by providing needed food, water, shelter and medical assistance. TWO needs financial assistance and supplies to continue their work of helping people not being reached by larger non-governmental organizations like the Red Cross.

According to the United Nations, 6 to 8 million of the 20 million affected people in Pakistan need emergency assistance aid.

More Aid Begins to Flow into Pakistan

Here is a Map of the area affected and who still needs aid:

According to  ABC News the amount of people affected by the flood, 20 million people, is the same size as the number of people in Australia.

Pakistan Map: Flooded Affected Areas. Photo Credit: Map provided by the World Food Program (Click on Image for Larger Map)

This article reveals new Satellite Images of the Pakistan Flood on 8/16/2010. The images were taken by NASA’s Aqua Satellite “which uses a combination of infrared and invisible light to increase the contrast between land and water.”

The Tonic website provides a list of organizations that are helping the Flood victims of Pakistan.

Recent updates to the status of the Pakistan Flood are provided by the experimental Global Flood Detection System which is a joint initiative of the Dartmouth Flood Observatory and the European Commission. See the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System website at www.gdacs.org.

What Aid is Needed Now for Flood Victims

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a website devoted to updates regarding the Pakistan Flood coordination efforts on the ground.

On August 15, 2010 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the people of Pakistan affected by the surging waters from the Indus River. The UN Secretary General said of the destruction and human suffering caused by the floods:

”These unprecedented floods demand unprecedented assistance. I pledge my commitment and the support of the UN through this difficult period and on every step of the long road ahead”.

According to the OCHA website the following aid is urgently needed to help the people in the flood affected areas of Pakistan:

Water:

Clean water is an “urgent priority” especially due to the danger of diarrhoeal and other water-borne illnesses like cholera on the rise.

Food:

Millions of women and children urgently need food to survive the raging floods which have destroyed over 720,000 homes in Pakistan. More than half a million people have received food assistance through the World Food Program and other partners. However, this is only a fraction of the 20 million people affected by the flood. Hundreds of villages are still only reachable by air due to the flooding of roads. These and other areas require food and assistance with keeping livestock alive in order to prevent longer-term food assistance issues.

Shelter:

Even though more than 100,000 households have some form of shelter of either tents or plastic sheeting, more than 620,000 shelters are still needed due to the destruction of nearly 800,000 households from the floods.

In addition, the people need:

Clothing

Medical Assistance

Financial Assistance:

According to the Pakistan One Response website, as of 8/21/2010, the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) is only 55% funded. Funds of $460 million have been requested to provide needed relief aid to victims of the Pakistan flood disaster.

The World Food Programme website reports that at least 40 helicopters are needed to bring food and water to people stranded by the flood waters in locations inaccessible by road in Pakistan.

According to the Boston Globe, Karen Allen, a UNICEF official in Islamabad said:

“The Indus River is at 40 times its normal volume. Whole cities of up to 250,000 people have been evacuated, and people have lost everything.”

More coordinated information about the Pakistan Flood situation and aid response can be found at the One Response-Pakistan website.