Pakistan Floods 2011: Help?

The floods that hit Pakistan last year were pretty bad, in fact they were the worst this country has seen in a century. The areas which were affected last year, some of them were still recovering this year when more floods came. We can get into how a lack of proper planning to prevent flood damage by the government and the rest of the blame game that we love getting into so much at another time. If logic serves me well, then the focus of the people needs to be the ‘help’ which is required for the affected population from this year’s floods. Pointless debates and arguments and politicking won’t get them their homes nd livelihoods back. We need to rise and deliver. We need to give. We need to show the same spirit we did in 2005 when the earthquake hit our northern areas. But also we need to ensure that what we are donating and giving in this cause is given through the right and reliable channels.

Just to get a perspective, 7 million have been affected and over 1.3 million homes destroyed. Not to mention the livestock and crops which have also been destroyed. Can anyone of you honestly say that enough has been done to help. Has our media played a good enough part in giving this need of the hour it’s due attention? And most importantly, have you done your bit?

My company had an employee volunteering day this weekend. We were all requested to help with donations and making packages of the relief goods which were being brought in. We managed to get a total of approx 800 boxes with all essential basic living items packed away. Those 800 packs will reach and cater to almost 3000 people. But for how long? Its not enough. I felt good after the ev, having donated and working on sorting and packaging the supplies. But I know it’s not enough, we need to keep doing more.

I feel that most of us are in ignorance or denial in terms of understanding the gravity if the situation. If proper rehabilitation is not done, then that’s 7 million people who will remain without livelihoods and shelter. 7 million people who will hit rock bottom economically. And this will be additional to the number of people hitting rock bottom annually because of Pakistan’s economy, which will also undoubtedly take another hit.

If you don’t trust giving your donations to the government, that is understandable. But their are other avenues and channels through which you can contribute. There is South Asia Relief, UN, Hope foundation of Pakistan, Dawn Flood Relief etc. Most of the multi national companies would be working on this and if you work in an mnc I am sure you can be a part of it. I know individuals who have undertaken collection and transportation of the relief goods on their own as well. So if you just keep digging a little you are bound to find a means of helping and donating and getting involved. Do what you can, what you are able to. No one is asking you to break yourself financially. In my company’s volunteering, 1000 employees participated from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. We sentt 800 boxes with the basic supplies with cost of one box coming to around 650-750. That comes to a total between 550,000 to 600,000 and means an average of 550 to 600 rupees per person was contributed. So if you think about it, its really not that much in the larger scheme of things that you will donate.

The affected people need the basics. Mineral Water, Hygiene products: soap andd shampoo, Milk, Energy Biscuits. They need medical supplies which should only be given through various flood relief efforts as they would have medical camps set up.

The situation is dire, and we all need to do our bit. Please rise and help.


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