Scale of Disaster
The flood affected region is vast, and the aid that has reached those affected is minimal. The UM Trust/CDRS team while treating patients in Noshehra and Pabbi district, also spent considerable time exploring, assessing and cataloging the damage caused by the floods. An estimated five million people are directly affected by the disaster and death toll is rising daily. At last estimate over 100 towns and villages were inundated with floods and many located near the banks of the rivers have been wiped out of existence. There is widespread damage and the human suffering is growing by the day as the water has not receded to normal levels even after a week of original flooding.
Survivors battling severe conditions
There is no fresh water, no food, no electricity, no mobile service, nothing of note in these areas. The crops are destroyed, water wells are contaminated and most of the cattle is either dead or missing. The only thing that is widespread is the foul stench of decaying corpses (animals and humans) and muddy water carrying deadly diseases.
The first government sponsored relief camps are beginning to pop up. Mostly people are fending for themselves and trying to piece together their lives by helping each other. News is still coming in of areas that have not seen any help at all and remain cut off from the teams working in the area.
UM Trust/CDRS Operations
UM Healthcare Trust is now supporting three field facilities (Noshera, Charsadda, Risalpur and Pabbi) in addition to staffing up its main hospital in District Mardan. Over 120 patients were seen in the first day alone. CDRS, (the field operator of Shine Humanity, USA) is providing mobile health outreach, logistical and medical support services, alongwith humanitarian aid supplies, volunteers and donated medicines. The joint relief effort includes supply of potable water which, includes packed mineral water, and medical service on the spot. Our teams will also distribute some instant food and fruit juices to the old and children (biscuits, bread, juices, etc.).
Families returning to broken homes need a reasonable supply of dry rations of food such as cooking oil, flour, pulses, sugar, dry and fresh(packed) milk,etc . The immediate big demand is for cooked meals to be prepared close to settlements by order and distributed fresh hot. Survivors also need clothing as all their possessions are gone.
How You Can Help
At present, relief supplies and medicines are available in the open market in Islamabad. Funds are needed to purchase the supplies and truck them to the affected areas. Funds are also needed to support medical teams with equipment, accommodation, food, transportation and communications. Prospective volunteers should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UM Healthcare Trust Executive Director featured on CNN
Atif Mumtaz, was interviewed by CNN, and the project was posted on CNN.com on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's website:
http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/02/makeshift-clinics-caring-for-pakistan-flood-survivors/. Mumtaz was also interviewed on BBC, a link to which will be posted shortly.