Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Current State Of Post Flood Rehabilitation Activities In Sindh:Problems and Difficulties.

Post floods 2010 the strategies to rehabilitate the millions of people displaced in Pakistan included building of shelters immediately for the displaced people and those that lost their homes. In Sindh according to Church Relief Services , an NGO working since 1950s to help Pakistanis, some 20,000 dwellings have been built. InSindh they are made of bamboo and straw mats with clay bricks and plastering.The clay bricks moulds have been given to the families to help themselves later and also can help them earn a living from this activity.
I have been following the information from various sources including Mr Zahid Memon frrom Dadu and Mr. Navid Nazim Jatoi, a Karachi journalist active in Sindh for reconstruction activities and Ms. Azra Memon, running an NGO, Nari, in Dadu, Sindh who has been involved with thousands of displaced flood affected people since the floods devastated Sindh.
According to Mr. Zaihid  Memon temporary shelters are bieng built in areas ravaged along right bank of Indus where massive displacement and devastation took place. They have been to villages that were totally destroyed in areas of Dadu, Mehar and other districts where people are rebuilding temporary structures on self help basis. There has been not much or almost invisible help from government and other relief agencies.
As I was involved in linking, SOS for relief with foreign agencies,monitoring the information, mapping and relief activities including proposal making(voluntary) for the people displaced from day one, I have observed the relief activities and mechanisms from their inception by the aid agencies and local and international agencies. Just as relief was something in which we and foreign donors could do very meager and little help, the rehabilitation effort has been negligible too. Pakistan has suffered immensely. The people of Sindh especially right bank areas like Jacobabad, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Dadu, Mehar, Khairpur, some parts of Larkana, Sujawal, Thatta on left bank have not been able to come out of the devastation even 20%. Due to lack of funds and resources by the Sindh government they have not been able to help much. corruption and wadera shahi by a few powerful people has left the poor of Sindh almost like beggars. The sad part is that in the intense heat of May one year later they are still shelter-less, hungry, without clean drinking water, without much medical help in areas destroyed by floods.The relief agencies like OCHA who have helped initially have packed their services and the rest of relief agencies have meager resources and scope of activities.
The priority of the media and the government has shifted towards other issues like war on terror, terrorism , electricity crises etc and these people are a forgotten lot now , left to fend for themselves. While the rich and powerful in Sindh, which are plenty, are busy building their mansions, living in air conditioned houses in Karachi and Hyderabad , as they have three homes for comfort, the poor ,landless peasants suffer even without a temporary shelter. The middle class of towns like Khairpur Nathan Shah have been provided no loans or relief in any kind to rebuild their small businesses. No special small business activity centers for help and coordination, for guidance and networking is set up either by provincial or federal government.The federal government bogged by other issues is totally neglecting these unfortunate souls of Sindh province. Organisations like SMEDA(small and medium enterprise development association) are sleeping  along with their "helping " employees in air conditioned offices,the workers, small traders and businessmen, haris and population of Sindh suffers quietly, majestically, like the sufi spirit of Sachal Sarmast and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
While pseudo-politicians like Imran Khan spout fiery tirades against government and talk about bringing revolution,and criticizing the US where their activity in relief was glaringly absent in Sindh and their relief activity is zero. They even took away the relief goods to Mianwali and  Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa areas donated from Karachi while the devastation was most in Sindh where largest number of people, land, crops, businesses were totally destroyed. The nationalist parties use fiery tirades against non-Sindhi speaking residents of Sindh as the only means to help the Sindhi speaking peoples, the poor in Sindh suffer silently majestically, like beautiful deities, their women, children and weak and old.
They need urgent financial help to set up their businesses. They need help with their agricultural activity. They need proper shelter, schools, clinics, communication systems. They need money in cash and help in kind. The international donors whose help was as meager and short as after a bake sale activity need to reassess the flood relief situation in Sindh and organize special humanitarian needs and assistance to rehabilitate these people. They have to re-energise their funding, organizations and mechanism for these silent majestic people. For the US it will be an investment in their future stability and safety. They should seriously address their aid for development issues and direct it to Sindh .http://mehernewspappar.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-strategies-adopted-by-international.html

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