Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sehwan: Need Assessment for the IDPs from Sehwan, Dadu, Meharr and surrounding areas

Updates: 9th September, 2010 (Chaand Raat)

A couple of days earlier to Eid, the network that assisted us in transportation / distribution of food items to Sajawal families referred us about some prospect needs in the relief camp Laal Bagh, Sehwan so we planned a visit to the place. As Sehwan is at a distance of around 273 KM from Karachi that is a drive of around 3.5 – 4 hours straight so that comes out as a whole day activity. We planned to utilize the Pre-Eid holiday i.e. Friday 9th September for that purpose and were on our way at around 5:45 AM just after Sehri.

Sehwan – Releif camp @ Lal Bagh

After travelling for around 3.5 hours and a distance of 273 KM and bypassing the cities of Hyderabad and Jamshoro we reached Lal Bagh area. There were around 6500 persons in the camp that was already established there. After having a assessment and discussion with the responsible persons there, we spotted out and being told as well that they had ration (including flour, rice, sugar, pulses etc.) available for them for the next 7-8 days around and the supplies are in continuation. When we mingled up with the IDPs resident in the camp and having a discussion with the persons who were responsible for ration distribution, we found out that the basic ration items are available but there is an acute shortage of Salt and Chilli powder that are essential for cooking any sort of pulse or curry.

Sehwan – Manchhar Lake

From there we moved ahead towards Manchhar lake (that wasn’t over flooded yet) to see if there are some people who need some relief activities. Manchhar lake is at a distance of around 25 min drive from Sehwan. When we reached the place, that was crowded with locals who were on their toes to strengthen the lake banks so that there may be no catastrophy due to this huge bulk of flood water that was continuously coming to the lake so that it can be drained out to Indus river.The water level at that point was noted down by us as reaching to 117 feet height (the total capacity of the lake was 121 Feet)

Dadu and Meharr

From there we planned to move towards Dadu (around 45 KM away from Sehwan) and ultimately to Meharr (around 80-90 KM away from Sehwan). After entering to the limits of Dadu district we observed some intense activity with a couple of excavators that were strengthening a defense wall in front of Dadu city. On the way we talked to a couple of persons about the situation of Meharr city and found out that the city is surrounded by water and its nearly impossible to enter the city at this moment via road. we decided to return back from this point and thought to purchase the required Salt and Chilli powder from the Bhhan Saeedabad or Sehwan market. we were unable to do so because of the fact that we couldn't locate an ATM in both of the cities (we didn't had any cash available with us as this was an assessment phase as well as the on-ground situation didnt permit to carry cash with us)

Coming back to Karachi

We left for Karachi at around 3:30PM and on the way back faced a horrible storm as well as heavy showers while driving on the highway. We did the last Iftar of this Ramadan at a gas station at Noori Abad and continued our journey back to Karachi. When reaching home at around 8:30 PM of Chaand raat, when we checked our speedometer then we found out that we’ve done a coverage of around 700 KMs in a single day.

We would be trying to contact our sources in Karachi to arrange for the Salt and Chilli powder so to ship them to Sehwan during or immediately after Eid holidays.

Next Plan :)

Within 30 minutes of reaching home, a phone call got received mentioning about the presence of a large number of families in the Manghopir area of Karachi that are in an urgent need of Food stuff. One of our volunteers group have been contacted to carry on a pre-assessment phase to sort out the necessities out there. As per the groups’ commitment they would visit the place on Eid day.

So thumbs up and Yes! Chaand Raat Mubaarak :)

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