Pakistan Flood Relief Update
Photos by Mr. Abid Naqvi, Director Operations, during his assessment visit to Charsaddah District
Purpose of the visit: To assess post flood situation in district charsaddah - living conditions of affected families especially women and children in the camps.
Traces of destruction started appearing while moving on motorway towards Charssadah via Ghazi-Tarbella-Sawabi-Charssadha. Upon entering Charrsadha a foul smell welcomed us. The surrounding situation was worse than anticipated. People were in a miserable condition state and helplessness. Women and children were the most affected. AMAL team visited following locations i.e. Faqeer Abad Tent Camp, Government Primary School No. 2 - Babrra, Post Graduate College Charssadha, Bashirabad - Khushali Pull, on the bank of River Swat, Village Manzoori - Bank of River Swat and Weeno Garhee, Sar Daryab - River Kabul.
Brief findings of the assessment of these four locations are (which are similar to all the affected areas in the province) :
20 million displaced – only 8 million have received any kind of aid
Majority of the affectees are living in camps provided by some individuals / donors and schools. Over 900 families are surviving in these locations and approximately 600 of them are women and children. They have been receiving (intermittently) relief goods from NGOs and individuals but women / children specific supplies are always missing. Due to the strict "Pardah" culture of the Province, women cannot ask for their essentials and have no permission to go out of their filthy smelly camps / rooms which are packed to capacity (average 5-6 families per camp / room) with no electricity. They are facing shortage of food, water, hygiene items, beddings, clothes, baby food, utensils separate toilets and fresh air. One of the respondents told that a woman delivered two babies few days back but due to the shortage of facilities and conservative culture, she was not treated properly which resulted in death of one baby and her own condition was very critical. Some pregnant women are also present in the camps. One woman had a surgery just before the floods, her wounds were oozing and infected. The environment is entirely infected with flies and mosquitoes.
Due to the restricted and unhealthy claustrophobic environment, women and children are most vulnerable to diseases and absence of lady doctors are adding more to it. Following common diseases were reported in the area, Scabies - skin infection, Gastro (Enteritis) - especially in children, Diarrhea, depression (mostly in women) and anger (men), as a result of displacement and the miseries in camps, blood pressure, sore throat and eyes infection - red, water and itching.
Relief goods are handed over to the "Men" of camps and they are considered the "Owners". Based on these findings, AMAL team has prepared "women and children focused" food, hygiene and supplies kits and AMAL team will ensure that these are received by the women in the camps, not their husbands or brothers. AMAL is also struggling to ensure that the men in these locations understand the special needs of their women folk and allow doctors and workers easy access to them.
AMAL's first distribution is taking place in these locations on Saturday, August 28, 2010