Eyewitness account of flood crisis, by Shahnawaz Khan, Plan Pakistan

aerial photo of Pakistan flooding

An aerial photo of Pakistan after the flooding: up to 1/5th of Pakistan is underwater according to the United Nations.

UPDATE: All donations made between August 2 and October 3, 2010 will be matched by the Canadian government to its Pakistan Flood Relief Fund

August 14, 2010 - “I have worked in disasters before but never have I come across the level of vulnerability and devastation I have seen as a result of the flooding in Pakistan.

People were forced to leave their homes and they stood by and watched helplessly as everything they owned was destroyed. Their basic concern now is that whatever they have left of their livestock and their homes would be stolen.

People are telling me that once a little bit of water has receded, they will try and make their way back home. They say they have nothing now – no food, no security, no homes – and if they are going to die, they would rather be at home. In our culture, privacy is very important; we don’t like being exposed like this.

Plan’s Disaster Risk Response Team has spent the last week working in Muzzaffargarh, one of the worst hit areas. During our initial relief work, we provided direct aid, food and shelter assistance to 100,000 people throughout the district.

Due to heavy flooding we were forced to move out of Muzzaffargarh to safer ground in the city of Multan, along with thousands of other people.

Pakistani children adapt to life after the flood

Pakistani children manage to try to smile and adapt to post-flood Pakistan. Children are the most vulnerable in a crisis. Please donate.

I have witnessed many disturbing scenes; children walking around listlessly, lost and vulnerable. Their parents, dealing with their own grief, cannot give them the attention they need. For many, the reality is only starting to hit them.

A number of people were forcibly removed from their homes. They simply did not want to leave as this was all they owned. And once they leave, uncertainty follows them. They don’t know where they will go, and if there is anywhere they can go that will have food and shelter.

The priority right now is to get food to the people. Then we need to focus on hygiene and child protection. The camps are full of women and children separated from their husbands and fathers. Most of the men have remained at home while other families split up when they were escaping or evacuated in the floods. It’s to these vulnerable groups that we need to pay the most attention.

It is difficult to feel hopeful for the future when the rain is still falling non-stop. When it does stop, people will move as quickly as they can to get home.”

Please give. Any contribution you can make to our Pakistan flood relief efforts will go a long way to assist children and families who are struggling to survive the floods.

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