Tag Archives: Flood

Let’s give Sindh a helping hand

Gulf News Editorial: Humanitarian bodies must ensure food and medical aid reach those affected by floods

Time has stopped for the hapless survivors in Sindh whose lives were turned upside down by the severe floods that hit the Pakistani province last year.

Surveys carried out in the wake of that disaster have revealed the extent of acute malnutrition in the region. The issue has been highlighted only recently due to prevailing social conditions and the lack of contact between the people and medical experts. Poverty levels have been at an all-time high for decades as a result of which the lives of thousands of children are also at risk.

Unicef has found that the percentage of those hit by the problem is higher than the 15 per cent emergency threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and on par with the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It has also been noted that women form a larger part of the overall figure.

While efforts are being made to address this problem, humanitarian organisations must galvanise themselves to ensure that the thousands who have been affected can obtain food and medical relief. …

Read more : Gulfnews

Will Pakistan Follow Egypt’s Example?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria, Senior Staff Writer

Pakistan may be even more vulnerable than Egypt (The News) to popular discontent, with higher inflation, unemployment, and external debt, much of it exacerbated by the devastating flood of 2010 that crippled an already teetering economy. Many Pakistanis are sympathetic (PressTV) to the anger over corruption, surging food prices, and lack of jobs driving Egypt’s protests.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rules out the likelihood of an uprising such as those in Egypt and Tunisia. “Our institutions are working and democracy is functional,” Gilani says (Daily Times).

Huma Yusuf, a Pakistan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, says it is unlikely Pakistanis will unite against a common cause. “Decades of manipulative politicking under military regimes have fractured civil society (Dawn) and factionalized politics,” she writes. “We will always see ourselves through an ethnic, sectarian, or socio-economic lens before we see ourselves as Pakistani.” The murder of Pakistan’s Governor Salman Taseer by his own security guard in January, and support for Taseer’s assassin among many Pakistanis, exposed some of these growing divisions.

Like Egypt, Pakistan is an important strategic partner whose stability matters even more for U.S. national security interests, in neighboring Afghanistan as well as in U.S. efforts to confront al-Qaeda. But U.S.-Pakistan relations have been strained following the detention of a U.S. diplomat on possible murder charges. The Washington Post reports the Obama administration has suspended all high-level dialogue with Pakistan.

Read more : Council on Foreign Relations

Malnutrition in Sindh is worse than the famine in Ethiopia, Darfur and Chad – UN says

Pakistan flood crisis as bad as African famines, UN says

Survey shows almost a quarter of children under five are malnourished in Sindh province, six months after floods

Declan Walsh in Islamabad

A “humanitarian crisis of epic proportions” is unfolding in flood-hit areas of southern Pakistan where malnutrition rates rival those of African countries affected by famine, according to the United Nations.

In Sindh province, where some villages are still under water six months after the floods, almost one quarter of children under five are malnourished while 6% are severely underfed, a Floods Assessment Needs survey has found.

I haven’t seen malnutrition this bad since the worst of the famine in Ethiopia, Darfur and Chad. It’s shockingly bad,” said Karen Allen, deputy head of Unicef in Pakistan. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Condemned the religious intolerance and human rights violations in Pakistan

HOUSTON, TX, USA. Tens of hundreds of Sindhi-Americans gathered in Houston on Saturday, January 15, 2011 to commemorate the 107th birthday of Mr. G. M. Syed, a national leader of the Sindh who waged a nonviolent struggle against religious fundamentalism and for freedom.

Sindh is home to the ancient Indus (Sindhu) Valley civilization and is now a unit of Pakistan. A vibrant Sindhi-American community numbering in the tens of thousands lives in various U.S. cities. More than 30 million Sindhis live in Sindh today. Sindhis are supportive of democracy and secularism and have been marginalized by security establishment of the country and its religious extremist reactionary ideology.

Continue reading Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Pakistan – Borrow until broke: how to make a nation fail

– Dr Manzur Ejaz

The lack of governance, irresponsible spending by the governing elite and non-collection of income taxes are the biggest hurdles. Power shortages, corruption and nepotism are major hurdles for the private sector to increase production. The opportunism of different political parties does not allow any government to devise a rational policy …

Read more : Wichaar

Some good work from USAID

U.S. Provides Equipment To Lady Health Workers

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,500 Lady Health Workers who work in areas in Punjab and Sindh provinces affected by the floods will receive kits of basic equipment to assist them as they offer vital health care services to families in their communities. This donation is part of the United States’ continuing support for Pakistan’s flood relief and recovery efforts.

The kits were donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to Pakistan’s National Program for Family Planning and Primary Health Care. Kits include blood pressure monitors, scales, thermometers, blankets, tents, and basic furniture. This equipment will enable Lady Health Workers to set up health houses to provide basic services in flood-affected communities. …

Read more : ONLINE

Home remains a distant dream for many flood-displaced Pakistanis

KAMBER SHADADKOT DISTRICT, Pakistan, November 18 (UNHCR) – When floods swept through their village in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province earlier this year, Mumtaz Ali and his pregnant wife lost their seven-year-old son. Weeks later, a weakened Zulekha gave birth, but the baby died soon afterwards.

On top of these tragic losses, the floods have destroyed the tenant farmer’s crops, costing him 150,000 Pakistani rupees (US$1,800). “My landlord will ask for money, but the rice crop was destroyed,” he said: “I will bear the brunt.”

And the family’s ordeal shows no sign of easing in the near future because winter is approaching and their village in Sindh’s Kamber Shadadkot district remains underwater. …

Read more : UNHCR

JIJI ZARINA BALOCH’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT HELD IN BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham : “If Zarina were alive, she would have been with her maruara (beloved people) in the camps and other places singing songs, raising awareness about their plight and conducting relief work for them”. This was stated by Suraiya Makhdoom at a fund-raising event for the flood affected people in Sindh, which was held to mark the 5th anniversary of Jiji Zarina Baloch in Birmingham, UK on 30th October 2010 at St Mary’s Parish Centre, Harborne.

Continue reading JIJI ZARINA BALOCH’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT HELD IN BIRMINGHAM

When ritual becomes religion — Ishtiaq Ahmed

Would it be heretical to suggest that instead of sacrificing animals and overeating meat for several days, pious Muslims should donate money to help poor people undergo some simple eye operations that will save or restore their sight, or do some other good deed that will bring joy to the lives of those who are deprived of decent living conditions?

Long years ago, I went to see a feature film in my native Lahore but it turned out to be a documentary mainly about the hajj (annual Islamic pilgrimage). In those days, I had a very idealistic faith and used to attend all public meetings by leading ulema who visited Lahore. So, a chance to see the whole hajj onscreen thrilled me quite a lot.

Among the rituals shown was the sacrifice of animals at the time of the Eid-ul-Adha to commemorate the tradition of Prophet Abraham. To my great horror, men with long knives cut open the throats of goats, sheep and other animals, and, while they were writhing in excruciating pain, threw them into long ditches. As soon as one ditch was filled, the bulldozer would cover it up with dust and sand and then more animals where cut up and thrown the same way into another ditch. One could see rows and rows of ditches and lots of blood splattered all over.

I must confess, I could not find any sense in God wanting animals to be killed in such a grotesque manner and thrown into ditches. The explanation we had been given at home was that the meat of the sacrificed animal was to be shared with the poor, relatives, neighbours, and indeed by the family that offered the animal for sacrifice. In Saudi Arabia, it was nothing of the sort.

Even when we would offer a goat on Eid-ul-Adha, the actual act of slaughter always saddened me. We bought that animal and took care of it for weeks if not months, taking it to the park to graze grass. Naturally, as children we began to love it. Then the butcher would come with his knives and slit its throat before our eyes. I remember always feeling bad when eating its meat. …

Read more : Daily Times

If the Sindhis rose nobody would dare to loot their resources

Resources looted under Watan Card scheme, says Palijo

MIRPURKHAS, Nov 7: Convener of the Sindh Progressive Nationalist Alliance Ayaz Latif Palijo said on Sunday that the country’s resources were being plundered under the Watan Card scheme.

 

Addressing a procession taken out by the SPNA, Mr Palijo alleged that the flood-affected people in Sindh were being deprived of even the most basic items needed to survive while the affected people in Punjab and Pakhtoonkhwa were getting funds and ration and were being rehabilitated. …

Read more : DAWN

Poorest of Poor

Drowning humanitarian aid – by Christopher Stokes
Barely hidden beneath the surface of Pakistan’s worst flooding in living memory were the geopolitical stakes shaping both the justifications for official Western assistance and how aid was delivered to victims of the disaster. The perverse result may be a further restricting of the ability of humanitarian aid workers to assist the Pakistani population in the most volatile areas of the country.  ….
…..  The people I saw in the camps in the flood-devastated region of Sindh last week are the poorest of the poor. They had very little and lost everything. Their children are now filling our malnutrition treatment centers. They deserve to be helped ….
To read full article : ForeignPolicy

SANA flood relief event in Houston, TX Oct 23, 2010

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is sponsoring a flood relief dinner in Houston, TX on October 23rd, 7pm at a hall at the NE corner of Dairy Ashford and Bissonnet. Anyone, everyone is welcome to participate. Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker has confirmed to attend the event. A local restaurant is to provide food for 500-700 participants free of cost. Pledges already received for $45,000.00. Will be a great event.
Just to share information with you that SANA has already collected more than US$75,000.00. It has spent some of the funds for the flood relief efforts while the organization is in the planning stage for utilizing more funds for long term projects to help flood affected people.

Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Hypocrisy

By: M. Khan Sial, Karachi

Some of our friends belonging to Punjab are bent upon proving that havoc brought out by recent surplus flood water in the country, could have been averted if the controversial Kalabagh dam in Punjab existed and release of fresh water in sea to check sea intrusion is wastage. This is technically wrong contention as nowhere in the world surplus flood water are deposited in normal dams like Kalabagh due to their technicalities. Further, if any effort is made to control sudden spate of flood water, it did not succeed as spate of high flood water washed out the whole dam. Further superb floods come after 22 years in Pakistan. If we presume the water of flood is absorbed in proposed Kalabagh dam, should we wait for 22 years to fill the dam after spending billions of rupees on its construction and maintenance?

Further, the experts in various seminars have expressed their views that site of controversial Kalabagh dam is in earthquake zone and also underground range of salt mines existed there. Since some people want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab, they are trying to spread misinformation. Sometimes, they call it release of water in sea as wastage despite in the 74 deltas of the world, fresh water is released to push sea water back. It is very unfortunate pro-Kalabagh dam lobby belonging to Punjab, are claiming they are only well-wishers of rest three provinces and also of the country whereas people of three provinces are not well wishers of their own provinces or country.

What hypocrisy! Such people are unable to tell why they remained mum on untimely demise of Indus delta? Why “Water Accord – 1991” after its signing on it and passing 19 years, was not implemented in letter and spirit? Internationally recognised IUCN has recommended release of 35MAF water downstream Kotri but mighty Punjab is not allowing this resulting in mass migration in the area and ruination of eco-system, increase of poverty and dangerous sea intrusion.

Continue reading Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Notices issued to govt officials over flood ‘mismanagement’

By Mohammad Hussain Khan

HYDERABAD, Sept 28: The Sindh High Court Hyderabad circuit bench on Tuesday issued notices to Chief Secretary, Secretary Irrigation, Relief Commissioner Sindh, DCOs of 10 districts, General Manager Nadra, Secretary Health Sindh, Chairman and Managing Director Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA), DG Health Sindh, EDOs revenue and health of various districts and others on a constitutional petition filed by Ayaz Latif Palejo and six other petitioners. The notices are issued for October 6.

The petitioners have sought registration of cases at concerned police stations against people responsible for creating artificial breaches and those displaying criminal negligence towards such acts.

Read more >> DAWN

Sindh Flood Crisis

Munawar Laghari

SAPAC Celebrates First Anniversary Banquet, Congressmembers and Policy Experts Speak on Sindhi-American Political Engagement and Sindh Flood Crisis

Washington, DC- September 25, 2010- The Sindhi American Political Action Committee celebrated its first year in DC politics with a banquet dinner and speaker’s program Thursday, September 23rd at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC.

Continue reading Sindh Flood Crisis

Sorrows of Flood Victims in Sindh (Pakistan) Resonate at Capitol Hill

Sorrows of Flood Victims in Sindh (Pakistan) Resonate at Capitol Hill

Advocacy by Sindhi Americans on Behalf of Sindhi Victims of Flood

By: Khalid Hashmani

Washington D.C. – Last week, the Americans of Sindhi descend and their supporters went all out to create awareness about the plight of flood victims in Sindh (Pakistan) in Washington DC circles. There were several events in Washington D.C. on Wednesday (September 22) and Thursday (September 23) that focused on the devastation and destruction caused by recent floods upon the people of Sindh. The primary goal and objectives of these activities were to appeal to American people for their generous donations to flood relief effort and to draw their attention to the attempts by Pakistani establishment to unfairly distribute international assistance among flood-affected provinces at the expense of Sindhi flood victims.

Dinner with Congressman Steve Kagen

Continue reading Sorrows of Flood Victims in Sindh (Pakistan) Resonate at Capitol Hill

Pakistan has become a North Korea of South Asia, starve the people & spend resources on tanks, bombs, missiles & fighter jets

Why I don’t contribute to Desaster-Stricken Pakistan

By Patrice Lagacé

Before talking about the disaster in Pakistan, I would like to tell you about this marvelous “killing machine” called F-16.

You know what a F-16 is, don’t you? Well, it’s one of the most popular fighter planes in the world. They cost approximately $40 million each. And of course, during its lifetime, it will have cost one and half the purchase price for maintenance, repairs (and windshield washer – you wouldn’t believe the insane price of each can of windshield washer that these toys use).

So, coming back to the disaster in Pakistan . Terrible! If we weren’t talking about a Muslim country, we could refer to the flooding as being of biblical proportions: 20,000,000 disaster victims. Just appalling.

Over the last two or three days we’ve been hearing voices accusing the West (Canada and United States ) of a lack of generosity towards a very seriously afflicted Pakistan. People are being told off in Canada, France and Great-Britain.

Read more >> Germerica

Pleasant feelings of fishing community are waning

by Jamil Junejo, Karachi, Sindh

Recent River flood brought good feelings for fishing community in Sindh. Because It recharged various dried lakes and brought fish seeds into them. Such feelings of fishermen are waning because of returning process of seeds from lakes through inlets of river due to non availability of nets which could be installed against inlets inorder to stop return of fish seed. Same are gloomy feelings of fishing community of Ageemanai Kori village situated on bank of Ageemani Kori Lake in Thatto.

Continue reading Pleasant feelings of fishing community are waning

Skin diseases make lives a living hell in Sindh

Rare skin disease makes a family’s life a living hell

Report: Imran Soomro

According to residents of Tahir Bhatti village near Daharki, the man tried to set himself and his children on fire. Residents rushed to his house when they heard the children’s screams and saved the family from a gory death. “I cannot watch my little children in such pain,” said the father, “Death is better than such existence.” Bhatti said his children cannot sleep in the night or even sit because of their pain. “All day they just keep standing,” he said. The children, 11-year-old Yasmin, eight-year-old Naseema, seven-year-old Fahad and one-year-old Sohrab, have been afflicted with a skin disease for as long as Bhatti can remember. Bhatti is a daily-wage labourer. Having no means to get medical help for his children, he has no choice but to watch his children become sicker. …

Read more >> The Sindh Telegraph

SINDH – flood victims suffer food poisoning

250 flood victims suffer food poisoning – By Irfan Aligi

KARACHI: More than 250 of the 1,400 flood victims at a relief camp set up in Bengali Boys Sindhi Section School in Ibrahim Hyderi fell unconscious immediately after consuming cooked food, sources said.

The victims started vomiting and the condition of around 59 of them started worsening until they had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

The medical teams available at the camp rushed to the scene and efforts were initiated to provide immediate medical assistance to them.

A local philanthropist had been providing cooked food to the flood victims after Mukhtiarkar Asadullah Abbasi had encouraged him to do so.

A well-placed officer in the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) Revenue Department told Daily Times that by the time the food carriage arrived at the relief camp, the cooked rice had turned stale.

However, since the rice did not show any sign of rotting, it was served to the flood victims.

Subsequently, they started vomiting and majority of them fell unconscious.

Read more >> Daily Times

Villagers say landowners breached levees to save their own property

Pakistani villagers say landowners breached levees to save their own property

Several canal walls were breached during last month’s floods, and accusations are mounting that the ruptures were deliberate. But an irrigation chief says the surging Indus [River Sindh] alone is to blame. …

Read more >> Los Angeles Times

Pakistanis Suspect Landowners of Diverting Floods

By Sebastian Abbot and Ashraf Khan

As the disastrous floods recede in Pakistan, something new is rising: suspicions and rumors that powerful officials and landowners used their influence to divert water away from their property and inundate the villages and fields of millions of poor Pakistanis.

Courtesy: The Washington Post, September 7, 2010

Read more >> Washington Post

India’s golden opportunity – By B. R. GOWANI

Following the bloody partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, both India and Pakistan have wasted the few opportunities that came their way in order to end the bitter animosity generated and later enhanced, due to the bloody division.

The war on terror and the barbaric acts of some Muslim militant groups in Pakistan have provided the news media with such bias against all Pakistanis that it has almost convinced the un- or ill-informed world that all Pakistanis are involved in terror. This has resulted in reluctance on part of the donors to see the affected people as struggling humans in need of help. …

Read more >> GLOBEISTAN

Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, we are proud of you

by Suraiya Makhdoom

I had the honour to watch honourable Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim’s detailed interview on ARY news. As usual he was great and spoke as a true son of the soil, Sindh.

To a question about Sindh situation, our Fakhru Saeen said those who live in Sindh should consider themselves as Sindhis. We should realise that Sindh gave us shelter and gave us opportunities to prosper. Sindh has given us everything. He also spoke passionately about the flood related issues.

Saeen Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim has said it all and he has also proven with his deeds what he says. Currently he is busy in providing relief to the flood affected people. He has responded to people’s problems and he is working to address the same. He has provided relief in many flood affected areas, such as Khairpur, Sukkur, Shikarpur and Kashmore.

Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim has a distinguished career and is well known for his principled stance. He has been a Supreme Court Judge, Attorney General for Pakistan, Governor of Sindh and Federal Law Minister. In 1981, while serving as an adhoc Judge of the Supreme Court, he and Justice Dorab Patel (another great son of the soil), refused to take a fresh oath under the PCO, promulgated by General Zia-ul-Haq.

In his latest interview, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim while analysing the constitutional and other problems of Pakistan, has once again pleaded the case of Sindh as well and expressed his concern for the flood affected people.

Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Sindh is proud of you . We salute you for your courage, principles and compassion. May God give you long life and excellent health.

September 7, 2010

Sindhi Association of New Jersey – Sindh Flood Relief Fundraiser

Sindh Flood Relief Fundraiser- September 9 from 6PM to 9PM

Sindhi Association of New Jersey (SANJ) has teamed up & actively supports Hemant’s Initiative for SINDH FLOOD RELIEF. Take the little effort to attend the event evening.

An awareness/fund raising event will be held for Sindh relief victims – featuring jazz singer Sachal Vasandani, Nita Chawla, and global environmental/solar energy band Solarpunch.org. All three have given their time and talent generously pro bono, and they all believe in the unity of this collective community and in the betterment of humanity – they are truly a blessing to us in our community as many of you will see on on Thursday September 9 from 6PM to 9PM, Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center, 85 Hamilton Street (corner of Hamilton and NJ Railroad Avenue), Newark, NJ.

Strength is in numbers. It is not so much about the donation, but what we can create with that collective energy. If you live away from NJ/NY/CT, we encourage you to organise local fundraisers. Let us know and we will guide you on this. A GLOBAL SINDHI FUND for SINDH FLOOD RELIEF PROJECTS is also in the works.