Monday, August 16, 2010

Dera Ghazi Khan – Initial Flood Impact Assessment and Survey

We depart from Karachi at 9:15 PM on 14th of August 2010 and arrive at Dera Ghazi Khan at 11:15 AM on 15th of August 2010. Although the ideal trip time is 12 hours but it took us 14 hours to complete the trip. The delay of 2 additional hours was because we had to wait for 2 hours near Moro Toll Plaza due to a long queue of trailers were idle ahead, waiting for either the road to be cleared from flood water or to avoid any robbers. Our driver took U turn and take us back to a nearby road side hotel. After 2 hours when we travel through that area via the same road we were unable to identify any traces of flood water which strengthen further our doubt of a robbery case.
deraghazikhanAnyhow, when we reached DG Khan, we were received by our local contacts and they took us to their home where we had a brief meeting in which he told us that he and his cousins were involved in the flood relief activities in the area. We decided together to select DG Khan as a base station because its a central hill city surrounded by flood affected remote villages/areas. It has shops from where we can arrange aid items for flood victims. It is the only city of Pakistan which serves as a junction point for all provinces and has roads which leads way towards all the four provinces. We also decide to start visiting the suburbs of DG Khan as soon as possible, to do initial flood impact assessment and survey.
During meeting we came to know that an area known as Ghazi Ghat some 15 to 18 kilometers away from the city, which is the western bank of the river indus and is a peaceful picnic point, was affected badly by the flood. We decided to move the very moment we finish our brief meeting, although we had travelled straight for 14 hours, but time was running out, and so we decided to go out immediately.
On our way to and in to the Ghazi Ghat area, the first impression we got was that people have adequate food and tents supplies in front areas, but when we travelled further in the deep, these resources became scarce. The possible reason for this might be the publicity stunts of our politicians and black sheep in NGOs who simply don't care about those living in the far fetched areas and rather more interested in reaching easily accessible areas to save themselves from hard work.
Then we took the road which leads the way to Muzaffargarh in our bid to reach the place and continue our initial flood impact assessment and survey, but we found that the bridge was broken and there's no direct road link between DG Khan and Muzaffargarh. We were told that supplies to Muzaffargarh are coming in from areas on the other sides. So, we came back surveying along the route and observe that more or less food is there but they need tents for shelter.
We were planning to visit Jampur, Rajanpur and other areas in that direction but we get a report later on that the water level has started to risen again due to which the path to Rajanpur will became inaccessible. Even the mobile networks are not working because mobile towers have fallen down. However, we will try tomorrow to reach Rajanpur somehow. We will also try to access and assess deeper areas in the suburbs of Ghazi Ghat, because we have reports that there are several families there who were well off before floods but now are in a very difficult situation, hopefully insha'Alah we will reach them tomorrow. Plus we will also be visiting Shadan Lund to complete our assessment.

1 comment:

  1. hello. my name is alina and i am an architecture student in new york. I was very interested in your blog here because I am doing an extensive research on ghazi ghat area in terms of flood mitigation. CAN YOU PLEASE e-mail me with any other information you have about this area???