Tag Archives: floods

Delayed response jeopardises lives of 4.8 million flood-hit people in Sindh

HYDERABAD: The delayed response and intervention from the government in early framework for the rehabilitation of rain-flood affected people jeopardised the lives of 4.8 million, including 2.4 million children and 1.2 million women. Talking to journalists at a press conference held at the local press club on Tuesday, members of the People Accountability Commission on Floods (PACF) said this while presenting the Civil Society Floods Situation Report (CSFR). ….

Read more » The News

Wake up Pakistan! – By Najam Sethi

– US-Pak relations have broken down. The United States has “suspended” military aid and all but closed the Kerry-Lugar-Berman tap of funds for the civilians. Proud Pakistanis have puffed up their chests and vowed to eat grass, if necessary, in order to defend the “sovereignty” of their country. What’s the big deal, they aver, US aid was peanuts anyway, and our traditional friends like China and Saudi Arabia are at hand to bail us out of our problems.

Continue reading Wake up Pakistan! – By Najam Sethi

350 deaths, 700,000 in Refuge camps, 1.5 million homes destroyed, 2.4 millions are severely affected by food insecurity in Sindh

– Pakistanis at risk over world inaction on floods: WFP

byAFP

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations warned on Monday that the international community had failed to respond to the latest flooding crisis in Pakistan, leaving three million people in urgent need of food handouts.

The nuclear-armed Muslim state has suffered two consecutive years of floods but has been at increasing risk of international isolation since US troops found and killed Osama bin Laden near the capital in May.

“Somehow the present flooding and the humanitarian impact of the present flooding has not yet picked the interest, the focus of the world,” said Ramiro Lopes da Silva, deputy executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP).

“If we have no resources, we have no response,” he told a news conference in Islamabad after visiting the flood-hit southern province of Sindh.

On September 18, the United Nations led an appeal for dollar 357 million in emergency funding to shore up rescue and relief efforts for millions of people suffering after floods swept away homes and farm land in southern Pakistan.

“The funding is not coming as swiftly and as fast at the levels it came to the response of the floods of last year,” said Lopes da Silva.

“Donors are being challenged by the level of resources required to address similar needs of humanitarian situations across the world,” he added.

Last month, the United Nations said only the Japanese government had pledged dollar 10 million in response to the appeal. ….

Read more → DAWN.COM

Sluggish Response to Sindh Flood Victims – Oxfam Warns of Second Disaster

– Sluggish donor response to Pakistan floods is another disaster in the making: Oxfam

Islamabad – International aid agency Oxfam expressed alarm over the floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, as only $1.30 has been committed per person by international donors in the first 10 days of the UN appeal as opposed to $3.20 committed in the same period during last year’s floods.

Oxfam calls on the Government of Pakistan and the international donor community to dig deep into their resources and rapidly increase their funding to prevent the disaster from deteriorating further. The agency warns that the situation of millions of people in Sindh and Balochistan will worsen unless more aid arrives.

According to the latest figures, more than 8.8 million people in Sindh and 14,000 people in Balochistan so far have been affected by the 2011 monsoon rains. The human impact of this disaster in terms of the number of people affected is more than the combined impact of the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan earthquake of 2005. Reported losses are being estimated at $215 million, and that number is likely to increase as some areas are inaccessible, and the impact of the floods cannot be assessed. ….

Read more → Aboard the Democracy Train

Devastation in Sindh and the Role of the Media: A Journalist’s Anguish

– by Aijaz Ahmed

… The media houses either from Karachi, Lahore or elsewhere, rushed whenever a calamity hits the catchment area of the Establishment i.e certain part of KPK, Kashmir or Punjab, but unfortunately when 70% of Sindh is devastated or destroyed nobody bothered because these poor Sindhis don’t matter in decision making, and additionally negative campaign is started to stop the international help without which the loss can not be recovered. …

Read more → Indus Herald

SINDH: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

– PAKISTAN: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Press release – (Islamabad/Geneva/New York: 10 September 2011): Torrential monsoon rains have pounded southern Pakistan, triggering serious flooding affecting more than 5 million people, among them communities still recovering from last year’s extraordinary floods. The disaster has reportedly taken the lives of 199 people, and destroyed or damaged nearly one million houses, and flooded 4.2 million acres of land, prompting the Government of Pakistan to call for support from the United Nations.

The situation for those impacted by recent monsoons and subsequent floods is critical, with thousands of people in need of life-saving assistance due to the lack of food and safe drinking water and the loss of livelihoods and homes. In response the United Nations and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) undertook a joint field mission to see first hand the devastation and damage caused by fresh flooding. The NDMA Chairman and UN Humanitarian Coordinator held discussions with the Sindh Governor and Chief Minister. The joint mission team visited Thatta, Badin, T.M. Khan and Hyderabad districts, where they met with district officials and families displaced by floods. During the visit the Chairman and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator gained first hand information about the impact of the floods, which has made possible a rapid launch of the relief effort by the United Nations and other humanitarian partners to support the ongoing national relief efforts.

Continue reading SINDH: MONSOON RAINS AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, UN LAUNCHES HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Rain disaster in Sindh

– Pakistan floods leave hundreds of thousands without shelter

Pakistan has appealed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for international humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of flood victims in the south of the country. At least 130 people have been killed as mud houses in remote rural areas collapsed in the heavy rain. Among the worst affected areas in the south’s Sindh Province are Badin and Nawabshah. Rains have damaged about 80% of the region’s crops.

Shoaib Hasan reports from Sindh.

Courtesy: → BBC

They won’t let UN, and others help: a million homeless, threat of epidemics, no clean water, lack of food. they don’t care. UN says they can’t do anything without a request and have been expressing surprise no request is forthcoming.

– No aid needed from world donors for flood victims in Sindh: NDMA

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP): Chairman,National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Zafar Qadir on Saturday said that the Authority would not be looking for any international assistance for the current floods which hit Sindh province. NDMA was efficiently managing the relief work and facing no difficulties in its operations, he told APP. The Authority has distributed relief items including 12,700 tents, three water purification plants and 23,000 family ration packs, to the flood-affected people in Sindh. The relief goods have been disbursed in the inundated districts of Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan and Mirpur Khas besides the badly damaged Mithi town of Tharparker district, he said. …

Read more → Associated Press of Pakistan

The success of the Sindh Caucus in US Congress

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

…. I feel proud that the Sindhis have chosen non-violent and democratic methods to promote their rights instead of going on the path of armed struggle like our Baloch brothers and sisters. …

…. Congressman Brad Sherman organized the first ever congressional hearing on the enormous loss suffered by Sindhis in recent floods and wrote formal letters to US Aid officials and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He urged them to ensure that the US aid also reached the flood victims in Sindh. At the urging of a Sindhi-American supporter, he confronted the Pakistani Ambassador in USA about why so few native Sindhis were employed at the Pakistani Embassy in the USA. He publicly acknowledged that he never received a satisfactory answer to this question from Pakistani ambassador.

Less than two weeks ago, Congressman Dan Burton wrote to the President of Pakistan expressing concern about the enforced disappearances and other forms of unlawful detention focusing on the disappearance of Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto. The letter says “… I and my congressional colleagues are hearing more and more stories, particular centering on alleged human rights violations against Baloch and Sindh ethnic peoples, including numerous women and children.” …..

SINDH – six months after floods

Six months later, Pakistan’s flood disaster threatens to worsen.

The crisis in Pakistan is far from over and could get worse, international aid agency Oxfam warned today, six months on from the nation’s devastating floods.

In a report, “Six months into the floods” the agency warned that millions of people were still in dire need and that the situation could deteriorate further. The report says that although the aid effort has reached millions, it has struggled to match the immense scale of human need. …

Read more : Oxfam

Music for Life : Beethoven for the Indus Valley

Another big humanitarian event being organized by George Mathew, a South Asian New Yorker. Hope you can attend. Below is our press release and a list of the South Asians involved with the concert.

Beethoven for the Indus (Sindhu) Valley. BEETHOVEN’S NINTH SYMPHONY at CARNEGIE HALL. FOR LIFE AND RENEWAL IN PAKISTAN AFTER THE 2010 FLOODS. Who: Music for Life International Inc. and American Pakistan Foundation,

George Mathew, Conductor, Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster, Laquita Mitchell, Soprano, Margaret Lattimore, Mezzo-soprano, Sean Pannikar, Tenor, Morris, Robinson, Bass. What: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. When: January 31, 2011 at 8pm. Where: Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Tickets: Tickets are $35 – $199. For information or to purchase tickets, Carnegie Hall Box Office, or online at www.carnegiehall.org.

Continue reading Music for Life : Beethoven for the Indus Valley

WSC asks all the Sindhi political and civil society organisations, technocrats, and intellectuals to rise above political differences, and to work together in order to help and lead people out of this flood disaster

SITUATION OF FLOODS IN SINDH AND WORK FOR THE RELIEF AND REHABILITATION OF SINDHI PEOPLE

London – The unprecedented floods in Sindh continue even after a month. Scandalously still new major towns and hundreds of villages continue being inundated resulting in displacement of hundreds of thousands more Sindhis, bringing further destruction of communities, livelihood, crops, homes and infrastructure.

WSC believes, that the current floods in Sindh and resulting unprecedented destruction is a concerted effort to direct the destructive powers of a natural phenomenon to eliminate and uproot a nation and subject them to a long-term process of slow genocide. These assertions are based on the following facts, inferences and analysis:

1. Sindh has been drowned resulting from literally hundreds of breaches to river waters in Kashmore, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Larkana, Dadu and Thatta. There are serious questions, suspicions and concerns within Sindhi people, and now even the government circles, about the first major breach, Thori bund. This breach so far has resulted in displacement of about five million people, drowning of 4000 towns and villages, loss of trillions of worth property and crops and immeasurable pain, suffering and indeterminate consequences. The British authorities who built the Sukkur barrage recommended cutting river Indus from Ali Wahan if the water levels cross the threshold of barrage’s capacity. As the waters will then divert to the desert areas of Naro, Thar and eventually ending in sea taking historical routes of Hakro and Mehrano riverbeds. Off course, this also would have resulted in displacement but the population is sparse, sand has far greater ability to absorb water and people in such circumstances occupy high locations on sandy dunes. It is now emerging that the river Indus was cut at Thori to mainly to save Panoo Aaqil cantonment, Qadirpur gas installations and Fauji Fertiliser.

Continue reading WSC asks all the Sindhi political and civil society organisations, technocrats, and intellectuals to rise above political differences, and to work together in order to help and lead people out of this flood disaster

Reinventing Pakistan – Dr Manzur Ejaz

From terrorism to floods, Pakistan is suffering because of a lack of collective consciousness and indifference to the basic rules of self-preservation. The ruling elite must learn to establish good governance if Pakistan is to survive

When my family purchased an acre of land in Virginia, we thought we could build any size of home we liked. What we soon discovered was that the county’s residential codes did not allow tampering with certain water drainage areas and thus we had limited options about where to build. Besides the drainage area, we were not permitted to cut the trees that were older than 50 years. Consequently, the architect was given a specific size and location with which to design the house. The county supervisors physically checked the implementation of building codes at every step of the design and construction. Now, it may rain for weeks but the water flows freely through the drain.

In Pakistan, lack of governance has led to people grabbing public or state-owned land and blocking the natural flow of water. Therefore, the damage from the floods will be far more catastrophic than anyone’s expectations. However, the government can avail this opportunity and recover the old drains or natural outflow systems while reconstruction takes place.

Read more >> WICHAAR

Flood threatens Sindh

Pakistan floods threaten key barrage in southern Sindh

Waters have exceeded the danger level at a key flood barrier in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh.

The Sukkur Barrage flooding means Sindh faces as much devastation as that seen further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, say experts.

Enraged survivors have been physically attacking government officials in flood-hit areas, amid widespread anger at the pace of the relief effort.

At least 1,600 people have died in the region’s worst deluge in 80 years.

With more than 14 million people already affected, the monsoon rains show little sign of abating.

On Monday, a new international radio initiative called “info-as-aid” made its first broadcasts in Urdu and Pashto in an effort to spread information about accessing aid and also about countering disease.

Read more >> BBC

Super high floods in Pakistan brings disaster

At least 500 killed, over 400,000 affected by floods

By Zulfiqar Ali

PESHAWAR: As raging floods wreaked havoc across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and some Fata regions, inundating large parts of Nowshera, Charsadda and Swat, the people of Dera Ismail Khan were warned on Friday of a similar disaster after 400,000 to 500,000 cusecs of water discharged from the overflowing Tarbela reservoir threatened all natural and man-made protective barriers in the district.

Read more >> DAWN

One Sindh – Two Perspectives

Washington Sindhi Sham with Jami Chandio and Sardar Shah

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

Once again, Sindhis of Washington DC were fortunate to spend a delicious evening with two visitors of Sindh. The gracious host of the evening was  Iqbal Tareen and the two the visitors included a well-known writer and political thinker Jamie Chandio and inspiring poet Sardar Shah. The popularity of the event could be gauged by the fact several people came to meet Jami and Sardar in spite of the fact that Tuesday (July 13) was not only a week day but the rain and lightening made driving conditions rather harsh. One could see that Jamie had made many friends in Washington DC since last year he lived here for several months doing research and analysis sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

One Sindh and Two Perspectives

As usual the Sindhi katchahery (heart-to-heart chit-chat) moved from one topic to another. The optimism of Jami that Sindhis were gaining ground in every city and town surprised many. He stated that the use of Sindhi language and pride in Sindhi culture was on upswing. He said even though the present government has yet to deliver on its promises to Sindhis, the discriminatory policies of Musharraf had ended. This was rather a surprise to some including me as our observations were that there was a immense shortage of Sindhi-medium schools in large cities of Sindh such as Karachi, Hyderabad, and even in Larkano. The fast take over by private school systems such Citizen Foundation of education has made Urdu and English as primary medium-of-instruction in large cities and towns of Sindh while leaving the Sindhi language on backbenches. Another topic of discussion centered on contributions and political mistakes of G. M. Syed and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The contribution of G. M. Syed through his writings primarily through his books had played a major role in the awakening of Sindhis to realize that they were a distinct nation were lauded at the gathering. His political mistakes, particularly the warmth he showed to the dictator General Zia ul Haq and formation of MQM was criticized. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was remembered as some one who inspired and awakened common Sindhi and Pakistani men and women to become conscious of their potential. But, then he was also criticized for not accepting Awami League’s majority in elections that ultimately led to the separation of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

He made us feel poverty and sorrows of Sindhis

However, the epic poem by Sardar Shah that he wrote about the simplicities and complexities of Sindh after some one had asked him where he had come from became the highlight of the evening. Sardar literally took us through the valleys, hills, and deserts of Sindh; he introduced us to poets, writers, farmers, waderas, students and small shopkeepers of the home-land; he made us walk through rain, sunshine, floods, droughts, and disappearing mangroves of Indus delta; he made us feel the poverty, sorrows and exploitation of Sindhis; and finally took us to the journey of determination, inspiration, and hopes of his people.

Indeed, it was an evening of Sindhiat that kept me awake long after we left the katchahery and said good by to our Sindhi visitors.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, July 18, 2010.