KARACHI: Lack of toilets is a major problem for flood survivors housed in camps.
There are around 5,000 people living in the relief camp at Musharf Colony and only three of the eight bathrooms made for the camp residents are in working condition.
Khalida, a survivor from Shahdadkot at the camp, said that women at these camps are feeling helpless. Many of them observe purdah and find it very inconvenient to walk a long distance to use a public toilet.
“There is no water, everything is so dirty,” Khalida said with disgust, “We have our children with us and it is very hard to use the bathroom.”
“They need to build more toilets,” she added.
The bathrooms are located quite far from the camps. There are no separate arrangements for women and everyone uses the same toilets, which is a source of great discomfort for the women.
Several of the female flood survivors complained that they wait till sundown to go to the bathroom because they feel too exposed in such public arrangements. Many of us have to find another woman to go with us because we don’t feel safe going on our own, they said.
“There is not a proper bathroom or a place to wash clothes... there’s not even water,” complained Hanifa Bibi.
According to another IDP at the camp, Fatima, even those three bathrooms that are functioning don’t always have water. “The concept of a sweeper or cleaner does not even exist,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2010.
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