Sept 17 2010
Donor fatigue kicks in after a week or two of any natural disaster. It is a very natural process as things move very quickly on the world stage. People forget about a godforsaken place as a disaster unfolds in some other corner of the world. The best antidote to this lassitude is a relentless media campaign. And that’s what is missing in the Pakistan floods.
While the coverage had been pervasive during the first two weeks, it has taken a backstage in recent days. Google News search for ‘Lady Gaga’ returned 20,200 results whereas ‘Pakistan Floods’ had a return of 12,300. True that news is still published but mostly in the back pages thus diminishing their chance of being read by people — and reducing any chances of further donations. One cannot blame the news writers and layout editors as other — and more important — news has taken center stage. Nevertheless, a little more highlighting will be good for the millions of victims.
More coverage is needed because the floods have not subsided yet. Manchar Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South Asia, is expected to burst its banks, thus causing more damage in the already ravaged Sindh province. This will uproot hundreds of thousands of people and thus create more problems for the flood managers of Pakistan.
There is also a perception that the devastation has not been extensive in Pakistan. People are not to blame for this. One unconsciously evaluates a disaster by looking at the death toll, which has remained rather low for Pakistan with around 1,800 deaths. Many are also not aware of the river floods that are devastating but slow moving. They are not like the tsunami that destroys everything in its path but recedes within a few hours. They affect far greater areas and work like slow poison, killing everything in their path but without making much of a noise. Lives were saved as evacuations were ordered but people lost their livestock and crops — their only livelihood in the dirt poor rural areas of Pakistan.
Compassion is thus still needed because the first phase of flooding is not over. As for the rehabilitation, Pakistan is stretching its muscles and the IMF has already extended a helping hand. The Pakistani government is intent on accepting this loan despite the fact that they can generate their own resources for the rehabilitation process. The country has a poor taxation system and the lack of land reforms has crippled the governance. Global donors should also scale back their grants or loans for the rehab process as that’s not a right thing to do.
It is, however, still the first stage. And it requires global attention to save lives.
How can you help?
Human Appeal International Pakistan Floods Relief
THE SITUATION Heavy rains in the past few days have triggered both flash floods and river line floods in several parts of Pakistan, resulting in loss of life and widespread displacement. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Baluchistan, and Punjab have been the worst affected areas.
At least 1400 people have died and over 2.5 million people have been affected by this disaster and have lost their homes and livelihoods. Crops have been destroyed, and roads and bridges damaged. All 7 districts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas have also been affected, according to the FATA Disaster Management Authority, although the severity is unclear. Flash floods have hit almost every district of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Blochistan in what is said to be the worst flooding in 80 years.
Human Appeal International has commenced its rescue efforts in the Swat region and has also started to distribute food items, bedding items, clean drinking water facilities to the victims in affected areas. We urgently ask you to generously donate to help supply more of these basic necessities to our helpless brothers and sisters.
STORY OF A VICTIM Shams-ur –Rahman, a resident of village Sharif Killay Khan, unfortunately, is one of the worst hit affectees of the recent vicious Flood of July 2010. Rahman’s family was sleeping peacefully in the rainy night of 31st July 2010, putting aside the traces of the sizzling heat of the previous month, when at 10pm, the big water torrent hit his house. The gushing flood broke down the side walls of the house, burying the three most dearly relations of Rahman; his mother, father, and his niece. Living together as a family of 4 brothers and 4 sisters along with parents, Rahman is only 30 Years old. He has 2 children of his own. Earning Rs. 200/- daily through labour work was his source of income, which his family was dependent on. A big portion of his house, the accessories and all the essentials have been destroyed in this flood wreckage.
“I was shocked…, I never thought for a moment, the downpour that was gradually sinking the heat waves, could turn up one day into my own destruction, and of the whole village. We have lost everything, my parents, my niece… (said Rahman as he burst into trears). But, fortunately my other brothers and sisters are alive, and only suffered injuries. We are a big family but have nothing to start on.” Taking temporary shelter in Hujra (locally; a spare room for guests) in a neighborhood, the entire family is struggling for food, shelter, bedding and an income source. These distressed eyes are looking for hands to lift them up once again to say we have a home and a living!
HOW YOU CAN HELP Human Appeal International is seeking your urgent assistance to help supply the following:
|Bedding for a Family||$85|
|Tent with Plastic Sheet||$250|
Hundreds of Thousands of Helpless Victims Need Your Urgent Support. Donate NOW!