Flood-hit areas short of food and healthcare
ISLAMABAD: Flood-victims living at the 60 to 70-kilometre strip along the Kabul River in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) remain in dire need of daily rations and shelter, according to humanitarian workers in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera districts.
People are susceptible to diseases because of lack of medical facilities and stomach and skin diseases were reported to be increasing in the flood-stricken areas.
The flood-victims included mostly daily-wagers and small farmers who lived in mud-houses that had been demolished due to the floodwater.
“There is shortage of food, as these people depended on aid,” said Maulvi Mehboobur Rehman, coordinator of the flood relief efforts of Karachi-based charity, Al-Rashid Trust, camped in Peshawar.
According to the trust, so far two tent camps had been set up in and around Peshawar where over 170 families were living in about 100 tents. The trust provided flour, rice, oil, sugar and tea to these camps. Mobile health clinics would also be set up, Rehman said.
“Most of the poor people did not have fodder for their cattle,” he said, adding that the trust could not fully meet the need due to its limited budget.
There was milk shortage in some areas, he said. At least nine people had reportedly died so far because of the flood and another 10,000 had been displaced, according to the provincial relief department. However, as the water level was declining gradually in Kabul and Swat rivers and the situation was normalising, the department sources said. In addition to setting up emergency flood relief centres to provide food and medical assistance, veterinary surgeons’ teams had also been sent to the flood areas, said a press statement issued by the NWFP relief cell. The department had also assessed the property and crops damaged in the flood areas.
“As the water is receding, the shelter problem is becoming serious. The poor people do not have resources to re-build their houses and manage their livelihood,” said Al-Rashid Trust workers.
International non-government organisations had also planned to launch assistance programmes for the flood-stricken communities. The Pakistan chapter of the UK-based charity, Islamic Relief, had planned to provide fodder for 600 animals including buffaloes and cows for about 15 days in all of the three most affected districts of NWFP.
The US-based relief and developmental agency, Catholic Relief Service, would provide relief package to about 1,000 families for a month. The Service will also supply 250 multi-purpose plastic sheets to flood victims.
Poor farming communities with small pieces of agricultural land who live between Warsak and Nowshera on the banks of Kabul river normally generate their livelihood from raising animals or growing vegetables and crops like maize and fodder. irin