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This page is updated by @viequesbound. My last update – 8/13/2010

In Upper Sindh, Pakistan ‘superflood’ leaves huge numbers displaced


By Alex Wynter and Eva Smits in Mohammed Larik village, Sindh

IFRC Secretary General Bekele Geleta, who is visiting Pakistan, today said he felt the pain of the millions of Pakistanis who have been affected by the most destructive disaster in the country’s history.

“Survivors have experienced tragedy three times over,” said Geleta, who took part in a distribution of tents and other relief items by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Charsadda and Tenghi, north of Peshawar. “Many have lost loved ones, household goods and animals.

“I’m proud to see how the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and the PRCS have pulled together in their response.”

The secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross (NRC), Borge Brende, who was with Geleta, said “massive destruction calls for massive efforts to help flood-affected people to rebuild,” and the NRC would be part of that.

“We’ve brought tents, tarpaulins and a boat and we have an Emergency Response Unit ready to go if needed,” he added.

Five-fold increase

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is now planning a five-fold increase in its response to Pakistan’s monsoon ‘superflood’, and is appealing to international donors to support a recovery programme likely to extend to 2012.

In the medium term, at least 6 million people will need emergency humanitarian assistance, in the form of safe water, tents and shelter materials, and medical help.

People like the residents of Mohammed Larik village, east of the Indus river near Sukkur in Upper Sindh.

By chance, their village was built on a patch of high ground on the river side of one of the huge bunds (dykes), built in the 1970s to contain floods along this part of the Indus.

When the flood came, they were cut off.

Now Mohammed Larik’s men and boys have established a temporary settlement along the bund several hundred metres away across deep water, where they sleep in tents distributed by the PRCS and donated by the Kuwaiti Red Crescent.

Snake bites

Few of the villagers can swim properly, and the women – said to be nervous of paddling across in inner tubes – stay behind on what has become an island.

Shabana Khatoon, 18, is one who is not afraid of the water. “People drowned here,” she says, “and all our wheat is gone.

“There is no food in our village now. Everyone is hungry – men, women and children.”

Niaz Hussein, 35, says there are at least 400 villages in their district, east of the Indus, “and they’re all flooded”.

He adds: “There are so many snakes. People find them in their houses all the time.” (Snake bites have become a major medical issue in the flood zone.)

“We need health facilities, we need electricity, we need everything.”

But for the moment, villagers say, the immediate need is a boat, so the families can be reunited in the tented encampment on the dyke.

Tents

The PRCS has just taken delivery of another 400 tents in Sukkur, which they will turn straight round for displaced people now camped out beside roads and canals, on the dykes where they first made landfall, and in one of the numerous temporary settlements which have been set up in Sukkur city, many of them in schools.

Since 21 July, with international support, the PRCS has distributed relief to more than 250,000 people countrywide and its emergency medical teams have reached more than 30,000 people.

The National Society’s response in Sindh is being coordinated by its provincial secretary Kanwar Waseem, who has been shuttling between Karachi and Sukkur.

“Just yesterday our Khairpur branch adopted another camp housing about 2,000 people and we’re providing cooked food daily.

“The number of tents we’ve distributed in the key areas of Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana and Dadu has now passed the 1,500 mark.”

There are now believed to be 540,000 people displaced by the floods in Sindh province, most of them in the north, including those evacuated as a precaution.

Authorities say 10,000 people have now been evacuated in the Hyderabad area, where the situation is “under control”.

“We’re ready to respond when the government gives the word,” said Dr Farooq Memom, PRCS Hyderabad branch president.

Sukkur barrage

The main flood surge which caused the devastation in Sindh passed through Sukkur earlier this week, according to Shuja Ahmed Junejo, secretary of the Sindh irrigation and power department, who briefed the IFRC on the geography of the superflood.

The department controls the city’s famous 66-gate barrage, inaugurated in 1932, which, together with the Sindh canal network, was intended to irrigate 5.5 million acres there and in Baluchistan and Punjab.

The Pakistani media has been reporting the “cusec” (cubic metres of water per second) reading at the barrage almost by the hour.

The rate was far greater than it was ever designed to take – and all Sindh knew it. But both the barrage and the wall holding the massively swollen river out of Sukkur city held firm.

The moment of maximum danger has passed in Sukkur. But all the barrage gates and upstream canals are still open, says Junejo, to ease the pressure on the barrage structure.

Downstream they watch and wait.

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French military to fly 200 more ShelterBoxes into Pakistan


Friday, 13 August 2010

International disaster relief charity ShelterBox is sending enough aid for another 200 families into Pakistan.

A further 200 emergency shelter boxes will leave ShelterBox and will fly from France to Islamabad, Pakistan by the French military at no cost.

The boxes will then be distributed in partnership with the French Embassy Islamabad and National Disaster Management Authority Pakistan.

ShelterBox partners have already distributed over 1,000 ShelterBox tents to displaced families. These tents were pre-positioned in Pakistan in June following predictions of a particularly bad monsoon season.

John Leach, Head of Operations, said: ‘We’ve worked with the French military in the past to get aid into Niger and Haiti and we’re delighted that they have once again stepped up and offered us free transport to Pakistan.

‘The need for shelter in Pakistan is growing by the day. We need to get more aid in as quickly as possible. By working with our international partners we can make this happen.’

These Shelterboxes will join the 200 boxes of aid that have already left the ShelterBox HQ in Helston, Cornwall. Each ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, a stove, blankets and other items essential for survival.

An additional 224 boxes are due to leave next week bringing the total number of ShelterBoxes in Pakistan to 624.

Agha Ali Javad, NRSP General Manager, said: ‘I’ve visited the affected areas and witnessed peoples’ miseries. Shelter is always the first priority.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WFP Battling To Reach Pakistan Flood Victims


WFP is fighting to overcome the weather, devastated infrastructure and the sheer scale of human need in providing food aid to as many as six million victims of the recent floods in Pakistan. Trucks, helicopters and even mules are being used to transport food around the country and reach those cut off from help.

ISLAMABAD – The battle to reach a rising number of people affected by the floods in Pakistan, one of the worst natural disasters in the South Asian nation’s history, continues in the face of poor weather, massive destruction and growing hardship.

WFP hopes to have reached as many as 2 million people with food aid by 20 August, around a third of the total number of people estimated to require emergency food assistance – WFP’s largest case load this century.

“The people worst affected by this catastrophe were already very poor. They had little to begin with and now they have nothing,” said WFP Pakistan spokesman Amjad Jamal. Read the interview

Scaling up fast

As of Friday, WFP had reached some 430,000 people in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province where the flooding has hit hardest, and begun rolling out food distributions in eastern and southern regions of the country.

With flood waters closing in on communities in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, WFP is gearing up to feed over 825,000 people in those regions over the coming days.

With the operation in high gear, WFP now estimates that at any one time, a fleet of over 200 trucks are on the move around the country delivering food to flood victims.

Extraordinary efforts are being made to reach several hundred thousand people across the country in communities cut off from the rest of the country since the end of July. A squadron of ten helicopters have been airlifting food into these areas since early August.

However, heavy rains on Friday suspended flights for a fourth day, adding to concerns that local food supplies may be quickly running out. Mules have also been enlisted to transport food over rugged terrain to remote mountain villages where helicopters cannot land.

Well positioned

WFP was well positioned for a rapid response in Pakistan, thanks to its numerous NGO partners and longstanding presence in the region. In addition, a network of humanitarian hubs, some with food stocks, allowed for ready distributions as soon as the disaster struck.

WFP was already active in the areas of Northwestern Pakistan first hit by the flooding, where it feeds over 2.7 million people displaced by turmoil along the border with Afghanistan.

To meet the rising needs in Pakistan, WFP has teamed up with another 11 NGOs on the ground and reached out to its donors and the international community for support in underwriting the massive scale-up in operations, at a cost of USD $164.

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View on the ground

Food distributions underway across Pakistan: See photo gallery

A telecoms expert discusses the challenges his team faces in bring the relief operation online. Read more

See the map of the areas worst affected by the monsoon floods

See other maps from Pakistan

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Balochistan http://ndma.gov.pk/news_room.html
1.Relief activities:-
a.The NDMA has released 1200 tents, 800 blankets and 2400 plastic mats which are being collected by PDMA authorities from Quetta Warehouse.
b.On request from NDMA, PRCS has mobilised its teams in the affected areas and shall cater for the food / health care requirements of the affected population (approximately 15,000) for the next 3 months.
c.Apart from moving a company-size force on ground, along with four medical teams, 3 military helicopters carrying 1.25 tons of relief goods have moved (today) to the affected areas for recovery and relief operations.
d.The Army has provided 9 tons of relief goods, whereas the civilian administration has also moved 6-8 trucks carrying relief items to the affected areas.
e.The Army troops provided food items to the population of the affected areas on the night of 22nd – 23rd July, 2010 and the same will be done today as well.

The NDMA is in close coordination with the concerned agencies and monitoring the situation closely. The exact detail of losses is being ascertained through the provincial authorities. Chairman NDMA, Lt. Gen. (R) Nadeem Ahmed is also visiting the affected areas on 24th July, 2010.

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=89244 Khyber-Pukhtoonkh’wa province: About 32 villages in Hunza-Nagar are reported by the local administration to have been flooded. According to the FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance NGO operating in the area, villages in the Kohistan district are under threat, with some 30,000 to 50,000 people possibly vulnerable.
“Rescue operations are under way in the affected areas and about 14,000 people have so far moved from the affected areas, of whom about 10,000 have been housed in 31 camps. The remaining 4,000 are living with their relatives,” Naeem said.
Sajid Naeem, is director general of operations of NDMA http://ndma.gov.pk/

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  1. August 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=89244 Khyber-Pukhtoonkh’wa province: About 32 villages in Hunza-Nagar are reported by the local administration to have been flooded. According to the FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance NGO operating in the area, villages in the Kohistan district are under threat, with some 30,000 to 50,000 people possibly vulnerable.
    “Rescue operations are under way in the affected areas and about 14,000 people have so far moved from the affected areas, of whom about 10,000 have been housed in 31 camps. The remaining 4,000 are living with their relatives,” Naeem said.
    Sajid Naeem, is director general of operations of NDMA http://ndma.gov.pk/

  2. August 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Balochistan http://ndma.gov.pk/news_room.html
    1.Relief activities:-
    a.The NDMA has released 1200 tents, 800 blankets and 2400 plastic mats which are being collected by PDMA authorities from Quetta Warehouse.
    b.On request from NDMA, PRCS has mobilised its teams in the affected areas and shall cater for the food / health care requirements of the affected population (approximately 15,000) for the next 3 months.
    c.Apart from moving a company-size force on ground, along with four medical teams, 3 military helicopters carrying 1.25 tons of relief goods have moved (today) to the affected areas for recovery and relief operations.
    d.The Army has provided 9 tons of relief goods, whereas the civilian administration has also moved 6-8 trucks carrying relief items to the affected areas.
    e.The Army troops provided food items to the population of the affected areas on the night of 22nd – 23rd July, 2010 and the same will be done today as well.

    The NDMA is in close coordination with the concerned agencies and monitoring the situation closely. The exact detail of losses is being ascertained through the provincial authorities. Chairman NDMA, Lt. Gen. (R) Nadeem Ahmed is also visiting the affected areas on 24th July, 2010.

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