Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan Flood’

Thriving on your own charity

…a flood rehab donation reminder!

Rehabilitation is underway in the flood-hit regions of Pakistan. Key players in this reconstruction include numerous NGO,s working strenuously in the field. Billions have been collected by them through charity given by Pakistanis alone, though efforts of international community indeed is well appreciated. However, considering a catastrophe of biblical scale, it is not surprising that 7 million still lack shelter according to a UN report and 30 billion dollars is estimated by World Bank for rehab. More recently,Oxfam has cited,

“The funding shortfall is so serious that existing regular food rations to 3.5 million people could be in jeopardy,”

Hence, still a long way to go.

It is being said that of the foreign aid pledged to Pakistan, only 20% has reached so far. Looking at the corruption graph, it is evident where that too would be spent. But, it is a time of crisis and the nation along with the NGO,s must stretch their efforts for more money.

Pakistanis are one wonderful nation, resilient and altruistic. Nevertheless, challenges continue as cholera and dengue hits now. No wonder, we possess the potential to manage the debacle on our own. In this respect, I could not resist mentioning the work of some brilliant organizations active in the filed.

Citizens Foundation; Apart from distributing 20 million meals in all provinces and providing food rations to families returning home, they are now working on rehab of more than 60 school units, as well as construction of new schools. Khidmat Foundation is running couple of rehabilitation programmes including micro credit. Islamic Relief USA coordinated a $23 million aid shipment filled with medical supplies.

After proving their mettle in relief activities and collecting a record 2 billion+ donation, MKRF and IKRF are now focused on rehabilitation. Their project includes provision of wheat seeds for flood-hit farmers owning 25 acres of land. The scheme will cost Rs 600 million and benefit 200,000 affected farm families. Under the scheme, certified and good quality seeds will be made available to farmers for 150,000 acres of land. Apart from this, houses, micro credit and health facilities are also being made available.

Subsequent to relief efforts, Pakistan Army is busy in rehab activities now. Army has completed as many as 49 Schools, 15 Health units, 11 Mosques, houses and roads in various areas of Southern Punjab. Extensive Army Engineer’s effort is underway to restore communication infrastructure in Swat and repair of Karakorum Highway. Likewise, many acknowledged organizations like Edhi, Zindaagi trust, Madad, News channels relief funds have their share.

These are only handful compared to scores of others operational in the field, doing exceptional work. All that is indispensable is more and more donations from our own resources first. For instance, A little change in lifestyle is the demand of time.

  • Setup a direct debit for at least 6 months for a particular amount of money that you can easily donate.
  • Give away the amount equivalent to every restaurant visit to the affectees.
  • Dig out your winter wardrobe; give away warm clothes -people are dying of cold now.
  • Spend less on clothes and accessories this season and donate the savings.
  • Eid is round the corner. I advocate, scholars should declare that instead of slaughter, the cattle this time be distributed among the affected. This is a sacrifice that God will accept Inshallah.
  • Make a resolution as not to eat junk for a couple of months, instead donate that money. Relish your body as well as your soul!

Let’s rebuild Pakistan, and make “opportunity out of misery” really happen.

Donate Generously!

Posted @Pak Spectator


Organization,more than donations is required

Donations are pouring in from internal resources, plus Pakistanis abroad. Credible NGO,s have geared up and Pakistani people are sane enough to know where to donate. I, once in a long while liked what sharifs said about showing reliance on your own resources first.

Many international celebs like Angelina Jolie, Paulo Coehlo, Rafael Nadal, queen Rania of Jordan have made appeals for donations, apart from repeated UN appeals. So we are in the limelight yet again! This time for a change, as a sufferer rather than as a terrorist. But as the situation evolves, I seem to dislike it. It is somehow damaging our self-esteem and casting an impression of a molested nation. Damn, we r not Haiti, neither Africa, we are Pakistan; we can bounce back no matter what the hurdles are, or for that matter, how much corrupt the governance is. We have what is rare round the world – the magnanimity of our hearts. Seriously, we possess the potential to spring back with our own resources & without begging for international aid.

I believe, more than heavy donation; an outstanding organization will save us. With appropriate organization & co-ordination, we can surmount the issue of low budget. More can become less, if managed inappropriately. Less can become more if handled in a disciplined and organized manner. Without proper organization, some areas will remain thrifty, while aid and rehab will be subjected to others.

As the Indus is reined free in the South, water in the north has somewhat calmed down. Water has receded from much of the NWFP. Without hinging on to the govt, NGO,s should now come forward right away. They should organize, divide areas, and start reconstruction & rehab on their own. The lesser the time the displaced people spend in the camps, the lower will be spent on their food & shelter, and especially medicine (for outbreaks) which these days are much more expensive than food & shelter. Moving the displaced back to their homes as soon as possible will reduce the funds spent on diseases that they would encounter in camps.

With apt management, (even leaving out the government) Pak is one unique nation that holds the potential to handle such astounding catastrophe. For a change, let us do the building on our own without repetitively begging international donors, as charity begins at home!

Is the country moving towards anarchy?

Yesterday midnight, few half-clad and unkempt men, broke into a house in a posh locality in Islamabad, using hammers and knifes. They hunt for food & dined on what was available in the kitchen, took away food and money, and eloped.

I hope not, but is it a promo of what the future holds for us? Unless and until, the government starts behaving, the security of the entire population is at stake. Moreover, unless the unaffected population shows enthusiasm and connection with the victims, we are doomed.

Three weeks have passed since the heavy floods, and still no policy has been prepared by the government, mere slogans. From day one, they should have imposed emergency at national level. The situation on ground is equally worse. Politicians are fighting for their own houses and lands. Sufferers are living in inhumane conditions. Govt elite are not ready to cooperate & unite with each other.

Even if a few thousand of these 20 million affectees rushed to urban areas, they will play havoc with the law & order situation and already wrecked economy of the country. And if that happened nobody will be spared, neither the governing elite nor the disconnected nation.

Time to wake up: both the government & the nation, otherwise we are moving towards an anarchic situation.

Posted @ PakSpectator

Solution of the debacle:Adopt a family!

Almost 3 weeks since heavy flooding -Pakistan immediately needs an emergency flood relief policy

Concerns are being raised as regards credibility as well as competency of the government to manage the flood disaster. Although, government should not solely be blamed, as the calamity is exceedingly large to be handled by the state alone. Albeit, bearing in mind the magnanimity of Pak nation on such occasions, this attribute should be capitalized to its optimum level. However, unexpectedly, since mass motivation is not observed because of known reasons, different and organized strategy needs to be adopted this time. Solution is easy.

Government should immediately make public Short-term & long-term relief plans. After initial acute management of flood victims, which perhaps would be done in a month or so, there should be a well-mapped long-term management strategy. Political parties should engage technocrats rather than dumb MP, s for better policymaking. A policy on paper was never as crucial as it is now! BTW, our politicians have 64 yr old expertise in fashioning policies (minus implementation), hence seems like an easiest task for them!

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Shortterm Management incorporates basic utilities like temporary shelters, food, clean water, & medicines for outbreaks. State and army should manage this. They should use their own resources & whatever international donors have donated so far  to PM,CM funds. UNHCR, s is already helping.

Long-term management would include rehabilitation like building houses, providing a source of income (cattles for most & other alternatives). Sufferers would be needing homes before winter – Their, the government should slot in public & NGO,s. They can engage public on basis of “adopt a family “fashion.

Collecting data of affected families will not be that demanding and must be processed immediately. State can use NADRA record, Benazir income support record, also last years IDP,s registrations etc to gather data. Most of the sufferers belong to the poorest soceo-economic class of Pakistan. Once the record is compiled, the state should make an appeal to the public to “adopt a family” for a particular period until they are sheltered. Likewise, On larger scale NGO,s can adopt a village or town . Therefore, people can donate based on trust & feasibility. I believe this time people will come forward and donate in person, once the water recedes & rains stop. This is rational, and should be channelized in an organized manner by the state.

This will entail less fund management on part of the government and will improve transparency. In long-term management state can limit its responsibility mainly to building basic infrastructure like bridges, damaged canals, barrages, dams etc.& leave rehab to general public & NGO,s.

In addition, Since Ramadan is on and at this point of time, it is virtually impossible for the government to manage timely, two time meals (without making them rancid) on such a huge scale and this is creating more frustration among the public. Religious Scholars should come forward and make a combined consensus regarding fasting in the affected areas.

This time, contrary to the earthquake2005, & Swat IDP,s, management seems distinctive because touchwood, number of deaths are far less compared to the colossal area that’s involved. But, financial loss is magnanimous, superimposed by distrust created by governments massive corruption concerning fund handling over years. Hence, exceptional measures will have to be embraced. Meanwhile donate!

Posted @ ProPakistan


NASA,s Satelite images of Pak Flooding

NASA has released images of Pak flooding. Check out the huge difference.

Flooding in Pakistan – Image captured July 31, 2010 (NASA)

Pakistan – Image captured August 1, 2009 (NASA)

Silence of the Nation:Apathy or Distrust?

Pakistan is going through a devastating catastrophe, a national disaster. The country has been hit by the largest floods ever in her history affecting all of the provinces on a huge scale. The floods have affected 14million people all over the country. Their homes, hotels, shops have been smashed. Crops have been damaged and many lives have been lost, first by the flood and later by the disease. The loss is huge.

Unexpectedly, quite the reverse, theirs no earnest political will. Joy heli-rides for media coverage are in vogue. Mr. President fled & received a historical welcome in Birmingham! However, strangely, even the people are not as motivated as they always used to get. Deserted relief camps are being reported. The unaffected population seems detached and disconnected from the disaster. Theirs no such enthusiasm as was observed during the earthquake or even during Swat operation for IDP,s last  year. Even though, the calamity this time is larger and demands more in terms of financial aid, since the effected area is colossal & the entire infrastructure is lost. It is like rebuilding Pakistan all over again. Are we underrating the disaster? or is it apathy, insensitivity, and neglect on our part?

Unbelievable! One thing I can never admit about this nation is that it lacks sensitivity at crucial times. We may be very immoral, but mute attitude at such moments is not like us. (Except for the president of course)

So what has happened now? Is it Inconsiderateness and numbness because of incessant turmoil? Alternatively, is it actually lack of trust in relief organizations? Be it governmental or non-governmental?

I perceive it is the later. Pakistanis are one of the largest charity-giving nations. The whole world observed the mind-blowing enthusiasm shown at national level after the 2005 earthquake. Even last year we saw massive support and help pouring in for swat IDP,s.

But what happens with the money collected so diligently? During the earthquake relief, millions were collected in the form of world aid as well as fund raising by Pakistanis. Nevertheless, the money was mismanaged and theirs no accountability either. Last year as well, massive corruption was witnessed especially in the effected province. In spite of receiving heavy funds, the KP Govt remain unable to handle Swat managerially and is still relying heavily on army. Inarguably, Govt has lost all its credibility, but what about the NGO, s? Even they have no accountability and corruption among them is quite common. Theirs no scrutiny and no inspection procedure to find out if the money collected by NGO,s was fairly spent.

Fund raising has kicked off all over Pak and apart from government; various other beneficiaries have come into play. Though, the only funds government deserves to have are for constructing dams and reservoirs, if they are willing to. While planning for donation, I could only come up with a handful of trustworthy and reliable organizations. I fully support PTI, s Flood Relief fund raising & recommend all of you to generously and blindly donate irrespective of political differences. Army relief, Edhi Foundation, UNHCR as well. Another relatively younger organization PKKH, it seems is equally trustworthy. I anticipate and believe that these and other NGO, s will be able to provide relief without raising question marks on their credibility.

In our limited capacity, we cannot make water management policies, construct dams & reservoirs, plant forests for long-term prevention, ensure just handling of funds, upgrade disaster management, and monitor relief activities on DIY basis, but we can donate. So donate!

Posted@ Pak spectator

(photos from )

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