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Assessing Pakistan Flood Damage

www.pakpositive.com For the past two days, Save the Children teams have been working around the clock to provide immediate relief to the flood-affected communities of the Swat Valley. As the water has begun to recede, the sheer scale of this disaster is coming to light.

Every time we receive news of the numbers affected, we become more and more committed to respond to this crisis with all our strength and capacity.

Yesterday, two teams of our staff ventured in different directions to learn the full extent of the damage and map out accessible routes for provision of shelter kits and food rations. One team crossed over to the western side of the Swat river into UC Tirat by sitting inside a small cart pulled through a simple rope-pulley apparatus over a fifty meter drop with raging waters below.

They learned that thousands of acres of farmland have been ruined and vast numbers of livestock have been swept away by the flood waters. Food shortages are becoming more acute every day a single bag of wheat is now being sold for 1,100 rupees (double the usual price).

The other team reached Madyan and attended a meeting of government officials, army and community influentials to discuss the emergency response. The market in Madyan now only has a few days stock of rice, cooking oil and lentils remaining.

Attempts are being made to control the prices and keep them at affordable levels. There are also plans to transport essential food items on mules from UC Fatehpur.

The team also met people who had been walking from Bahrain for half a day to reach Madyan. They described the worsening situation in the city and the urgent need for food and health care. A few families had walked for two days from Kalam the farthest most affected city in Upper Swat. They were hosted overnight by strangers in the village of Asreeth. Their stories from Kalam were published in Pakistans newspaper today.

Save the Children began distributing items to make shelters with to families who have lost their homes in UC Fatehpur.

However, there were heavy rains today, stalling the distribution process since the beneficiaries were walking over hills and dirt paths to reach our centre. Save the Children been selected as one of the partners with the World Food Program to begin food distributions in the Swat valley.

Ive also been speaking non-stop on the phone from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. with various TV networks and journalists from around the world to report on the situation there. A CNN team was supposed to arrive today but was held back due to bad weather conditions.

As we say in Paksitan InshAllah (God willing), the international community will fulfill its obligations for the relief of the flood-affected people in time.

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Written by Save the Childrens reporting coordinator in Pakistan flood damage
24 Aug 2010 | 1358 Saeed Akhter says: Location: Bahawalpur (Pakistan)  Posts: 1
Pakistan is drowned; hit by the catastrophic deluge ever witnessed in the recorded history of this part of the world. About 20 million people are homeless and the vast tract of crops is devasted causing the loss of billions of rupees. The infra-structure is swept away; the chairman NHA told the BBC that roads from Khoistan to Karachi are the past history and it will take one and half year to pave high ways again but it is subjected to the availibilty of funds, and now the deamon of epidemic is roaring and as PM said about 2 million children are vulnerable to the expected epidemic of water born diseases.The world is reluctant to donate generously albiet of pledges made to the UNO. The world at large fears gobbling up the donation by the state authorities as no doubt witnessed in post quake scenario in 2005, and it also fears that the militants will rob off the funds or indirectly the funds will be used to support the Jehadis as known in the world.
But no body is ready to understand the plight of the poor of the country who were already poor;living under the clutches of extreme poverty and now the natural disaster has left them marooned on the globe.
The power mongrels have starting trumpting the big change in the society which they deem will be a bloody revolution even some of them professed a replica of French Revolution in the near future. Before analysing the trumpt of change it is essential to understand the necessary parameters of any big change in the society. A the people should be politically motivated, must have some aim to achieve, B the harbingers of change must have the ability to mobilize the urban masses to come on the street. And if they come on the street they must go for some poltical goals to achieve after their success. The majority of flood effected is down-trodden as some of you must have witnessed on TV channels that they were unable to ask for their right demands before Khurshid Shah; the federal minister, they were dumb founded to utter "sinful demands" before the demi-god. All were poor harries who knew the power and wrath of the god on earth. There has been no poltical culture in the country. Though said that some of the nationalists in Sind have credit of poltical work in the interior but the reality tells the different stories of their being on pay roll for "big ones."
The people predicting change forget the mighty role of the milirary in the politics of the country. That is the only institution in the country which observes the discipline of chain and command and is the only stakeholder ;institutionally, of this country. So the puppets chant the slogan of change and the make the world afraid of "Their" coming whereas, They are nothing but banner holders of some Others.So, no changes rather wolf is at our doors and who dances with the wolves? Lets see but no change thats for sure.
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