Both Awab and I recently went on separate trips to Kot Addu and Sukkur, into just some of the areas affected by the flood. I think that by now, the scale of the disaster is hitting people- even Ban Ki Moon’s statement sent everyone scurrying for ideas and strategies to deal with the flood. The food relief truck I went with was organized by Saad Sarfraz Sheikh, an inspiring photographer and friend, who pulled in food through donations, and had someone arrange for a truck to transport it all to Kot Addu. I must also mention that even now, Saad’s father remains trapped at the PARCO refinery in the Kot Addu area.
I realize that we’re going through the greatest natural disaster that we’ve gone through- ever, and what’s more important, is that the world is realizing this as well. Rather than going into the usual analysis-paralysis of why the floods were so bad this year, or why the politicians are so indifferent, this article candidly shares what Awab and I have learned from our short trips into the field (Awab is more experienced with relief work, since he also helped out with earthquake and army-operation refugees earlier). I’m also cowriting this with him so that we share experiences from different affected floodzones. If you are working in Balochistan or Khyber Pakhtunwa or any of the many, many regions that we aren’t please get in touch or just write your thoughts out as a comment. No time for formalities here.
Normally, a social worker would write this, but I wanted us, normal people with no training, to put out thoughts together on what worked, and what didn’t work based on our experiences. Why? Because the majority of Pakistanis who can help- are average people like Awab, Saad, myself and you.