Nowshera floods: The aftermath

Flooding has rendered thousands homeless and displaced hundreds more.


Express August 12, 2010

NOWSHERA: Nowshera has been one of the worst affected districts by the current flooding in the country. Flooding has rendered thousands homeless and displaced hundreds more. The family of one such missing person has searched for their son for days, but efforts were of no avail.

Express 24/7 special correspondent Munizae Jahangir spoke to Alam Shah, the father of the missing boy. Shah works as a labourer and is currently assisting in the rebuilding of homes in the flood-stricken area. “My son has been missing for four days,” said Shah. “I have searched for him for the last few days and looked for him in Mardan, Peshawar and other areas, but have not yet been able to find him.” As the intense flooding has destroyed people’s houses, they have lost everything they had including all their belongings. Shah therefore does not even possess a photograph of his son, which could be used to assist in identifying him. “No police report has been filed,” said Shah. “I hope to find my son but it is up to God and in His hands. I have no picture of him-everything has been washed away by the floods.”

The elderly man explained how he did not possess his own house. “I live here only, but do not have my own house.” Shah’s hopes were clear-he said that they would wait for his son to return and continue searching, but emphasised that it was up to God if he would return or not. He also said that his missing son was mentally-challenged, which complicated matters and which might make finding him more difficult. People are not even sure if the police can assist them in these situations, and having no photographs for identification purposes further complicates matters.

When asked about his wife, Shah said she has been devastated by the fact that her child is missing. “She is just lying there worried and in a state of total anxiety.”

There are many similar stories as many people have lost their family members and loved ones in what is being termed the most devastating natural disaster to strike Pakistan in the country’s history. “Individual stories have just gotten washed away in this larger tragedy,” Jahangir said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2010.

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