Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Flood Relief Efforts By Youth In Karachi.

FLP team with 9 year old volunteer and Highway Patrol Officer.
The team of volunteers with Future Leaders of Pakistan.
The massive devastation and displacement caused by floods in Pakistan brought immense grief and difficulties for the people affected but the youth of Pakistan especially that from Karachi showed the spirit of humanitarian volunteerism and caring.It gives us hope that the Pakistani nation is alive and has a bright future inspite of the immense negative challenges and destructive obstacles to its progress and development. One such extremely active, smart and sincere group is the Future Leaders Of Pakistan.
 Its members including Jamal Ashiquain, a photographer, Sana Saleem , a medical student, blogger, writer and activist, Hira Saleem, a student, artist and photographer, Mrs. Malik, Sana and Hira's aunt and lady transport enterpreuner and many other young volunteers have adopted camps around Hyderabad and Jamshoro. They have provided them food, Shelter, Wash and NFI's and are now planning their rehabilitation.
His clothes should always fit and he should have shoes.
 They hold medical camps also where they invite specialists to see the patients and provide medicines. Active in this group is also very kind officers of the Hyderabad Highway patrol who not only provide security but also much needed medical and emergency help to these camps. The initial condition of the flood affectees was so bad according to Sana Saleem when the mainly Marri tribes people settled around Hala came almost without any belongings clutching to their kids and a goat or two. They had no shelter and as there were no trees in the Jamshoro area where they landed they just sat along a few bushes. The difficulty the young volunteers faced was that the women in the camps were not allowed to take any food or help without the men's permission. The traditional male dominance and mistrust of the strangers was gradually won over by persistent and consistent humanitarian behaviour of the volunteers. When I visited the camp last month for a medical camp the people were very welcoming and flocked around for medical help. We provided medicines and the highway Patrol Officer even provided link for free medical tests as advised to a few patients in Hyderabad in addition to providing promptly the medicines that were not there.
Sana Saleem had arranged with the Pakistan Medical Association water purification filter systems which were installed.The incidence of diarrhea was not so prevalent in this camp as they were using water in clean ,covered containers provided. It seemed the major problem was the Sanitation as there were no toilets and the women were especially without bath. Many skin infections in children and women were because of lack of  bathing facility. This problem is seen in almost all camps in Pakistan as the toilets and shelter cluster is only around 12% pledged. As the water drainage in Sindh will take almost an year to be completed, there is dire need for temporary Wash and shelter facilities to be given for rehabilitation. many houses will not be inhabitable as almost all areas are flooded and the houses have to be rebuilt. The one room concept now accepted as part of OCHA planning is already proposed by the Institute of Architects of Pakistan. We have inspected the shelters made of bamboo and reed which can be used for home abodes, clinics, schools and offices.the entire structure can be easily installed and dismanteled and relocated. Bathrooms can also be made from the same materials. Details are on this blog.
Mother and Child health should be the first priority in Pakistan's development.
The amazing youth Sana Saleem.
Dr Meher Zaidi loves welfare work.
We should give them hope and a future with education.
The wheel of Life must go on.
Medical check.
Water filters.
The groups from Karachi like the Future Leaders of Pakistan have a long way to go and I am sure people like these will make Pakistan a country worth living.

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