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Louis Belanger

Louis Belanger

Posted: August 11, 2010 05:03 PM

Floodwater is approaching fast to the district Daud in Sindh Province in Pakistan. Oxfam is there in emergency response. My colleague Mubashar Hasan describes an eyewitness account of what's happening in one of the worst affected provinces by the floods.

Perhaps I have encountered one of the most striking scenes of my life today when I saw a woman with two cows were fleeing her home in knee-deep water in a village named Sial at the district Dadu in Sindh province. The woman was struggling to walk and manage her two livestock. At some point as per my worry she fell down, as the land under her feet was perhaps slippery and muddy.

I saw that an unknown women pulled her up and started to walk on the unseen road with her livestock. However, she never lost the ropes of her livestock.

It was a living hell with roads and parts of houses and trees were submerged under water where the temperature was in between 48 to 50 degrees Celsius.

" We have no hopes from any one", said a 60-year-old frustrated Mohammad Chukmat who also was fleeing with his 20 livestock to a safer place.

Local political parties had set up shelters there and I saw police petrol on the main road of Sial parts of which submerged under water.

"The water level is seven feet high," in my house Chukmat said with a tearful eyes adding, " I want to go back to my home".

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Mohammad Chukmat (left) is fleeing his home with 20 cattle at Sial village in Dadu district which is in Sindh province in Pakistan

A total of 50,000 people are being affected in the district where authorities managed to evacuate 2119 people and where as 6200 livestock were dead.

"The biggest difficulties we faced that People here don't want to leave their houses even when local authorities have announced evacuation plans for them', said Sher Mohammad, education coordinator of SAFCOW, Oxfam's local partner Safcow in Dadu.

Authorities even announced section 144 to force people to leave their houses but still the ratio of people leaving danger zones are low,' Sher Mohammad said.

Indeed it is a complex situation here: which one should come first? Human life or livestock? At least to some people here, saving livestock means saving their own life because without those livestock living would be as difficult or equal to death.

To learn more about Oxfam's response go HERE

To donate to Oxfam America please go HERE

 
 
 

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