Updates of 16 August 2010:
We started off visiting Jampur which is spread on both sides of the Indus Highway. Jampur was completed flooded with water, when we reach there, there was 6 inch water on the Indus Highway and when we were leaving, after reviewing the situation, the water level was 1.5 feet.
We then moved towards Fazilpur. Front area is the Fazilpur city and the rear contains several agriculture lands, which were destroyed completely. Fazilpur is till in red alert state and is in danger because if the dam break down than the flood water will drown the city. We saw people all packed up with their luggage ready on tractors waiting for evacuation signal. We decided that its no use to setup any camp here because its already red alert and people are evacuating, so we move on.
Shadan Lund, now became a hosting point for all flood affected displaced people, be they from Dera Din Panah (severely affected) or from Kot Addu or from Taunsa. Local people of Shadan Lund were very hospitable as most of the people leave their homes to let affected people say there. Almost each local person has accommodated 10 to 15 affected people in their houses. An influential person of the locality was already running a food camp with a team of people working for him for last 10 days. Initially they distributed 2500 ration packets to affected people. But, when they saw that funds are limited, they started a cooked food camp and were cooking 16 deigs for one meal. 6 deigs of daal (lentils) and 10 deigs of chawal (rice). They were very organized and have registered all affected people and have verified them separately. There were no long queues of people waiting to be fed, instead each person came with a chit and get his family’s meal. We saw them cooking the meal, we observe their distribution and we inspect their godown which have only 7 or 8 days stock available. We talked to them about how long they can server the meal to needy ones, and their reply was 7 or 8 days. We were quite convinced by their organized work and their hospitality, se we started discussing them on how we can be part of this activity so that the camp will be able to serve even more days. Finally, after consultation we decided to contribute lentils, rice and ghee for 7 days of meal where each meal consist of 6 deigs of daal (lentils) and 10 deigs of chawal (rice) and will serve 1600 people for 7 days.
Updates of 17 August 2010:
In a bid to visit Jampur and suburbs again, we entered Kotla Mughlan some 12 kms away from Jampur. We came to know that some 1000 people are stranded here. We had to travel some of the distance by road and some by boat. While we were travelling by road on bikes, we get a call from senior local person who were working with us on the cooked food camp that we should not go to that area because there’s an evident life threat. He further informed us that, this area is adjacent to the kacha area and we will be clearly identified by people as foreigners, that might not be a problem in other cases, but here we have robbers and bandits who have kidnapped people for ransom and had even killed local people just to loot whatever they had in their possession. We came out of that place immediately because people have seen bullet riddled bodies floating on the flood water in that area. We were very upset because there are people in that area who need our help but we can not go inside with out any adequate security measures. This place is surrounded by flood water and affected people are in a bad condition, there are diseases, and 6 to 7 people died due to cholera. They need water and medicines and probably food, but we were unable to help them out. If there’s any one else who can arrange security then please help these people they need your immediate attention.
We then move on to Fazilpur, and tried to replicate the kind of network our local collaborators have created in Shadan Lund. We need a team here to organize and manage our new cooked food camp. There was a person in our Shahdan Lund team who belongs to Fazilpur and because we were working with him during last 2 days, we found him honest and hardworking and so we asked him to form a team of local people. Once he selected the team, we assigned them the task to start registering the affected people and verifying them separately. We have plans to work in the suburbs of DG Khan in next 2 days, so we can wait do our work by the time our Fazilpur team come up with registrations. Once registrations will be complete, we plan to start off with 2 deigs of daal (lentils) and chawal (rice) for 5 days of meal. If all works well we will insha’Allah expand it further.
We also have planned to setup similar food camps in Jampur once it become accessible.