PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF DAY 34-37 PART ONE
Greetings of Peace
Its Friday, 24 September 2010, the 34th day of our mission in Pakistan. An advanced team leaves for Sehwan City. On the way we stop for a courtesy visit at Razakabad to thank Colonel Abdul Wahid Khan, head of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, who has been a huge asset in our flood activities. Col Wahid has huge experience in disaster response, having deployed to many areas, including being the first Pakistani helicopter pilot to respond to the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991, an area where we were also involved at the same time.
He refers us to Mr Rehmatullah, head of the municipal team in Sehwan. He makes the call and we are received with open arms. The nerve centre is someone’s home which has become a beehive of activity; wall maps, computer specialists, engineers and abundant files of registered displaced families. Sehwan City is the Last Outpost, the last point to try and control the raging flood waters.
Mr Rehmatullah hasn’t seen his family in six weeks. He lives in Hyderabad City, only two hours away but duty calls and as a representative of local government he has admirably committed heart and soul to the greatest test of all in this flood ravaged country; on the one hand engineers are propping up Manchchar Lake in the most amazing way; this is the largest lake in Asia, it has to be held at any cost as it has already expanded to more than double its size; on the other side is the swollen Indus River, also being held by government employees on high alert 24/7. At this critical time the whole region is in extreme high alert; Mr Rehmatullah’s team has successfully evacuated 40 000 families in the last few days, a mind boggling achievement, given the enormity of all other responsibilities. Tractor trolleys, hundreds of buses and minibuses, in short, whatever was available was dispatched to assist a civilian population in grave danger. Whatever personal belongings could be loaded on the government led evacuation and transport assistance programme were salvaged to the great joy of the vulnerable people of Sindh.
Our briefing is over; the reality of what has been explained is now to be witnessed. Details in Part 2.
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman
Chairman and Founder
Not what we give, But what we share, For the gift without the giver Is bare.
James Russell Lowell