Pakistan flooding: Aid workers' stories


More heavy rain in Pakistan is frustrating efforts to help about 14 million people affected by severe flooding in much of the country.

BBC News website readers who have been helping with the relief effort have been getting in touch to share their experiences.

Mark Pearson returned from Pakistan at the end of July

Image caption,
Shelterbox set up tents within 48 hours the floods starting

I'm the operations adviser for Shelterbox, which supplies aid boxes and tents to displaced people around the world.

We'd pre-positioned about 1,000 boxes in Islamabad a month ago, because the Pakistan meteorological office had warned of an exceptionally high monsoon season this year. We didn't realise quite how bad it was going to get though.

All these rivers in the area are full of glacial water and heavy snow has fallen this year, all of which is having an impact on high river levels.

There had already been flooding there when I came back to the UK two weeks ago, but now the rainfall and floods have got particularly bad.

I'm getting daily updates from people working on the ground from everywhere - the Punjab province, Khyber Pakhtunkhua, from Karachi up to the frontier.

They all say that food and medicine are needed. However, the priority is obviously for the flood water to go down.

I'm hoping to go back there in about a month to oversee the operation, but as always the security situation is incredibly bad.

Ulfat Bibi has been helping families in Nowshera

I'm working voluntarily with my brother for people affected by the floods, with an NGO in Islamabad. We are trying all-out to help the people of Pakistan.

Yesterday we distributed food rations and hygiene kits among the 150 flood-affected families of Nowshera.

Tomorrow we will distribute food rations among the people in Swat.

We also have a large project, which is a flood victims rehabilitation programme. I'm a psychologist so I will give emotional support. My brother will help with income-generation, food, shelter and other things.

Nishaa Ishtiak has been making trips to distribute aid

Image caption,
Food packages have been distributed to villagers affected by the floods

My friends and I are part of a non-profit youth organisation called the Future Leaders of Pakistan (FLP) which has been helping with relief distribution since the flood hit on 27 July.

Some of the members come from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province - an area hit by floods, and were able to get first-hand accounts of the situation.

As people are apprehensive of the aid actually reaching the needy (since in the past, millions of international aid has gone astray), our office in Islamabad decided to do door-to-door collections, in addition to other measures.

The members have been collecting from their neighbourhood, friends, acquaintances and family, assuring them that the aid will get to the rightful place, and the response has been phenomenal.

Until now, over 200,000 rupees have been collected and a large quantity of water bottles, clothing, shoes, flour and various other items essential to the survival of the victims.

The people who could not pay in cash have been making contributions in other capacities.

Fazil Karuna (a village between Nowshera and Peshawar) has been safe from flood waters and that is where most of the nearby villagers are taking refuge.

The first distribution by FLP took place in this village where food packages were distributed amongst the flood victims and copies of their identity cards kept to ensure an even distribution.

An aged villager Haji Shamsher Khan has been reported to have remarked: "Even the fact that you all came here is enough to satisfy us as we know that there are other Pakistanis out there who care about us."

In the coming week two more trips will be made, one on 12 August to a washed-out village near Charsadda, and on 15 August FLP will visit Fazil Koruna for a day-long medical camp.

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