Flood 2015

Over 2,000 families targeted at five UCs of Layyah

Southern Punjab was badly hit by monsoon floods this year also, deluding widespread destruction and displacement. Unlike the previous years, the response to the calamity by concerned circles, including the non-governmental organizations, has however been quite subdued and timid in view of the government decision not to launch any formal appeal for support.

Armed with a decade-long experience in responding to natural calamities in Pakistan, the Human Appeal International, Pakistan (HAI-Pak) however decided on its own to break the shackles of silence and extend a helping hand to the worst hit layyah district.

After a rapid assessment, five union councils of the district Layyah, Lohanj Nasheeb, Jhakar, Kotla Haji Shah and Shado Khan were selected for relief operation. In close coordination with the district administration and a local partner SDI, the HAI-Pak targeted around 2,000 families in said union councils and provided them cooked meal and food parcels comprising rice, pulses, tea, cooking oil, salt, energy biscuits and sugar.

As per the advice of the district government, the affectees were provided with the cooked meal three times a day at their camps, respectively, to meet their immediate requirement. However, when they were allowed to repatriate to their original places after the subsiding of floods, the HAI-Pak decided to drop food parcels at their door steps to provide them a respite from routine chores.

With the help of a US based organization Americares, one thousand families were provided with hygiene kits as well. The initiative was aimed at underlining the importance of healthy practices to avoid post-floods health issues. Each kit comprised towels, soap, tooth paste and dish washing powder.

The affectees hugely appreciated the HAI-Pak for reaching to them in hard times, while emphasizing that the magnitude of the destruction deserved an equally matching response at national level.

In recognition of the services, the district administration in a special appreciation letter thanked the HAI-Pak for the relief operation and the commitment shown by its field staff.

One small gesture transforms Pari Begum wholly

One more time she is homeless. Her dream of a settled life goes sore once again. The angry floods this time around too refuse to recede, before leaving no trace of her house on the planet.

But just one small gesture of love and care can make her feel so differently… it is an incredible story.

In her troubled life spreading over six decades, Pari Begum has been witness to the drowning of her house in floods countless times. Every time they deluge myriad hardships and misfortune on her, besides warning her to wreak more destruction on her the next time if she persisted in challenging them by raising a new 'bulwark' against them on the bank of river at Layyah, Punjab.

Hardened, rebuilding a semblance of an abode is not morale sapping for Pari. Over a period of time, she has become so adept at it that it takes her only a couple of weeks at the most to get back into the thick of life.

"I have grown old while battling with the aftermaths of floods every once in a while. You may say it has now become a part of my life. Floods have broken neither my heart nor my back. I am a strong willed woman. However, it is the indifferent attitude of the society which has certainly eaten me inside. Would you believe hardly anyone in my vicinity has ever offered me a helping hand to start my life afresh after the floods?"

"Feeling so lonely, I simply don't feel like being a part of this society. To me everyone is a fair weather friend."

"In disbelief I rub my eyes to find around me people like you to empathize. I needed the shoulders to rest my head on and cry profusely. The support in kind you are extending in fact symbolizes the eternal bond between you and me as the descendants of Adam and Eve. You felt my grief and shared my sorrows… it has brought me back into this world, reassuring my faith in humanity."

After the recent floods, the HAI-Pak was the only organization which made it a point to reach to the calamity hit people of Layyah. With the generous support of our partner organizations Americares and Qurshi Foundation, the HAI-Pak distributed food, medicines and hygiene kits among the flood affectees at Layyah to enable them to face different post-flood issues.

The warmth and spontaneity Pari Begum exhibited for the HAI-Pak was incredible. Widowed 18 years back and living with her five children, Pari was feeling ostracized for obvious reasons. We were able to win back her confidence in her society and the people at large and take pride in this 'crown achievement'.

Distribution of herbal medicines to displaced people

In July last year, heavy rainfall and floods inundated over 100 villages in district Layyah, Punjab, displacing as many as 5350 people.

Unfortunately, these people are still living in makeshift camps. The HAI-Pak has so distributed over 1,000 hygiene kits, food hampers and hot meal parcels to benefit as many people as possible.

In view of the outbreak of different diseases at the camps, it distributed 1,300 family packs of herbal medicines among displaced people.

Special thanks to the Qarshi Foundation for the noble gesture!