PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF DAY 27 PART TWO
Greetings of Peace
That we are in the epicentre of the flood area is obvious; millions of litres of water surround us with the danger of being trapped in with the rest of the villagers as the road we use is the only access in or out. The water is ominously close to the road edge and seems to be rising but we have to take our chances. No relief work comes without risk. We've come with life jackets for the whole team.
We discover that hundreds of families are trapped on "islands", many refusing to move as they guard their land and what little is left of their life's possessions. Our young Pakistani team arrange several boats; the international footballers are willing active assistants as we load the boats and move to the "islands". People are in disbelief that assistance has come and from far away. Family by family gratefully accept their mega hampers and pour out prayer and praise. Its an arduous task and after 5 hours in the blistering heat, thirst and exhaustion overtakes the entire team. The villagers notice our condition and amazingly offer us the same water that we just handed out to them for their survival. They go one step further and offer us the last meal in their home.
As a group we are moved by such generosity, patience and hospitality by a people who in reality had nothing even before the floods arrived. The process of loading boats and delivering is a slow, tedious process. Sunset will approach soon and we wouldn't have reached everyone. And then we witnessed something absolutely amazing; the villagers were walking on a submerged path that used to be a road. They all carefully walked in single file at a particular "safe" point on the path; any deviation to the left or right could be highly dangerous. This was their access to the main road and our answer to a speedier delivery process. We went by boat "island" to "island" and asked people to use the water "path" to come and collect their supplies. The tribal leader arranged a compound for our trucks as a security measure and where we could prepare for the handover to the families expected soon.
A special tribute to the footballers who offloaded the trucks, prepared the delivery site and handed out supplies to several hundred families. At sunset we stopped.
Dr Imtiaz Sooliman
Chairman and Founder