Humanitarian groups step in for relief work

The flood in Swat Valley has destroyed roads, bridges and cut off access to remote areas.


Fazal Khaliq September 07, 2010

SWAT: The flood in Swat Valley has destroyed roads, bridges and cut off access to remote areas, leaving many communities in those areas with a shortage of food, shelter and clean drinking water.

Consequently, it has also caused large-scale displacement, destruction and suffering in the valley. The upper Swat region, regarded as an ideal tourist destination, has been particularly ravaged by the floods. A number of humanitarian organisations have stepped in to help the flood victims by providing food, shelter, clean drinking water and medicines . Jarrey area, the last district where cars can reach, has turned into a busy relief camp for dozens of organisations where people from Kalam, Mankyal, Bahrain and Madyan come by foot to provide basic necessities.

Rahim Badashah, a local resident of Bishigram present at Jarrey, is receiving food and non food items through a joint relief camp set up by SRSP and Mercy Relief Singapore.  “We reached here after 6 hours of walking, it is very difficult to take the goods back on our shoulders to our area,”Badshah told The Express Tribune.

“We are thankful to these organizations that helping us though the food is not enough because access to our areas is far and difficult. I have four children who remain hungry for two nights, and then these philanthropists reached to help us, so we rushed here to get something to feed our children,” he said with tears in his eyes.

Gul Warina, an old lady in the camp, who was waiting in the queue said impatiently, “Be quick, give us food, we have to return early, if we go late we will not be able to reach before iftari”.  Talking about the difficulties in reaching the location, she said, “I came here with my granddaughter, she led me here all the way walking on her tiny feet which will definitely ache now.”

Mohammad Tahar Jumaat, manager of the international program of Mercy Relief,  who was distributing food items at the camp told The Express Tribune, “When we received the news that a large scale flood  has caused devastation in Pakistan through The Express Tribune online, we immediately organised campaign for money collection in the street, the business community and from the different contractors who donated generously for their Pakistani brothers, the Singapore and Pakistani Foundation also did a lot in this regard.”

“We are two team this time in Pakistan, one is in Sukkar, distributing pre-cooked food, tents and water filtration systems and the second is here in Swat and Dir for distributing food items, tents and school bags” He said.

Derrick Tan, another member of the same organisation, added, “This time we have brought food items, tents and school bags and kits and gifts from the people of Singapore. We have personally come here to share their sorrows, next time we will come with more aid and developmental projects.”

Bushra, a young girl of the second grade, was among the hundreds of children taking school bags and kits appealed to the elders to build a school for her and others who had wasted three years. “First, our school was dynamited by the Taliban and we could not receive education out of fear and now the flood has washed away our school and home, leaving us once more without a school, benches and desks to study,”she told The Express Tribune, “I request the elders to please build a school for us because we have already wasted three years. I like going to school and want to become a teacher,” she said innocently.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2010.

COMMENTS (4)

Rizwan | 11 years ago | Reply Alas, we could do alot in the wake of Eid for the flood affectees
Gulalai | 11 years ago | Reply Should we appreciate it or condemn it, any way we need as a nation to be united and tackle such things ourselves, thanks to the singaporians who generously helped our pakisantis
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