Sindhi-American’s Letter to President Obama

The White House, Office of the President, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500

Honorable President Barack Obama,

The floodwaters have risen in Sindh-Pakistan for the past week. Roughly 20 million people have been affected, losing their homes, livelihoods, villages and loved ones. 1600 people have died, two million are homeless, 36,000 are suffering from waterborne illnesses and 2,439 villages have been totally destroyed. This natural disaster has been compared to and believed to exceed in magnitude that of the Sri Lankan Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and our own Hurricane Katrina- and the situation is worsening by the hour as the monsoon season continues.

The Sindhi American Political Action Committee, on behalf of the Sindhi-American Community, wishes for you and your administration to fully understand the urgency of this situation and the limited impact that foreign aid (including our own) has made to relieve this crisis. Pakistan is no doubt grateful for the assistance so far provided- $73 million in aid, food, shelter and fresh water for those displaced, and the help of American service men and women have helped hundreds survive the flood. Sindhis, however, remain fearful.

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Indus : The “Great Mother”

Will the Pakistan floods strike again?

By Howard Falcon-Lang

The recent floods in Pakistan’s Indus Valley are of truly Biblical proportions. …

The “Great Mother”

The Indus is one of the world’s great rivers.

From its headwaters in the Himalayas of Tibet, it flows north-west through India before turning sharply south across Pakistan. It finally discharges into the Arabian Sea, a journey of some 3,200km (2,000 miles). ….

… ..During a warm period 6,000 years ago, the Indus was a monster river, more powerful and more prone to flooding than today.

Then, 4,000 years ago, as the climate cooled, a large part of it simply dried up. Deserts appeared whether mighty torrents once flowed.

Professor Clift believes that this failure of the Indus may have triggered the collapse of the great Harappan civilisation.

The city ruins of Mohenjo-daro, a relict of this lost culture, date from the time when the rivers ran dry. …

To read full article >> BBC Science & Environment

Flood devastation blamed on shrinking forest cover

KARACHI, Aug 13: The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum on Friday observed that floods caused devastation on a massive scale because local feudal lords with the connivance of government officials and legislators of successive ruling parties had cut forests and encroached upon its land for cultivation.

Besides, the small embankments they had built in the riverbed to stop the natural flow of the Indus River and to cultivate crops resulted in the flooding of low-lying settlements along the river, observed the participants of a PFF meeting held to review the flood situation in Sindh.

Read more >> DAWN