Famine in Tharparkar

Currently  mainstream media in Pakistan has whipped us all up in a frenzy about #Tharparkar district with news reports on how people are dying there due to malnutrition! Rightly so except that this is the case since 1987 and not something that has suddenly occurred on a catastrophic level like the floods or the earthquake in pakistan.

The truth is that Tharparker is a very marginalized district in Pakistan with many of its inhabitants being hindu rather than muslims and with not enough volume of population for anyone to take any political interest due to lack of votes present here. Thus Thar has been suffering through several droughts for years without anyone batting an eye before the media outrage going on right now

After this wakeup call on media suddenly all officials concerned  as well as human rights organizations have rushed to “mitthi” which is an area with some semblance of civilization present. The first to arrive on the scene in Thar were the Pak army as soon as conditions of famine were reported. Thus there is currently an “availability” of rations and humanitarian help present in mitthi but NOT in the outlying areas all the way to the runn of katch.

As per the team sent by ziauddin hospital/Health Tv with which we had a meeting on saturday. Following is an “onground” update on what is going on in Thar :

After spending 48 hours in the Tharparker Zilla The HTV team has found that short term relief is now trickling in Mithi due to the efforts of the Sindh Government and various political parties, NGOs and private organizations. (The plush rest houses in Mitthi make it an easy starting point for officials to convene from).What the team found troubling was that the outerlying communities in the desert are being ignored and are in need of our help with a sustainable solution for water, nutrition and health care. It may be due to the lack of rest houses for officials to stay at in these areas. Nonetheless, let’s work together to find a long term solution for the people of Tharparker. HTV’s medical camp in association with Ziauddin Hospital and Pak Oasis has reached the area and begin it’s work starting tomorrow morning across all areas of Tharparker.Stay tuned for more info on how you can provide support.
The government has also established a crisis cell in the area, which anyone going out with relief needs to coordinate with in order to prevent duplication and wastage of resources, their info is as follows :
In wake of emergency / Drought Condition in Tharparkar District, this is to inform to all the concerned that a Health Emergency Cell has been established at District Health Officer, Tharparkar @ Mithi.
All the NGOs / Philanthropists are requested to please coordinate regarding the Health Related Relief Activities in the District Tharparkar with the Focal Person of Health Emergency Cell.
All the NGOs / Philanthropists are further requested to please share information regarding the relief activities in Health, so that proper inventory / mapping could be made, in this regard.
Focal Person : Dr. Parbu Lal,
Ph. office # 0232-261253
Cell # 0333-2510508
email : edoh-tharparkar@yahoo.com
Also of importance to gain perspective before going to Thar for humanitarian aid is this article by Mosharraf Zaidi.
The governor house has sent us the following info as well :
Dear All concerned
Talukha Hospital Diplo selected as site of Med Camp/ Rel ctr by 206 Bde, Badin after consultation with local health auth. Lt Col Tanvir (03215180226) CO 73 Med Bn is I/C of med camp. AD RVFC is Lt Col Ajaz for livestock. (03216960740)
Brig Anwer Ali Khan,(03345066065) DMS, 5 Corps
Suffice to say, greater coordination is required in Thar’s relief instead of speed like was the need in floods or the earthquake before that. The long term solution has to be a sustainable supply of clean water for this community as well as basic healthcare, something which can occur as a public private partnership but will require policy change on the governmental level to mainstream this marginalized community of people.
We will be sending out updates on the situation in Thar in the following days, please watch this space to become part of a long term solution for this area.

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Ration4Pakistan Community Welfare Project

Ration4Pakistan is a community based project from Karachi with a mission to proving ration packs to marginalized communities in a bid to address the growing tide of food insecurity in this nation. The project is being carried out in conjunction with Sir Abdullah Haroon (Ashiana) welfare foundation and SA Relief

In the first phase of the project Ration4Pakistan will provide relief to the oldest and most down trodden localities of Karachi.

The group will provide the following ration packs to families in the area:

Read the rest of this entry »

Solar Lighting Initiative

SA Relief recently launched the Solar Lighting Initiative with the financing of 16 solar light units for 16 homes in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, Pakistan. The housing project is led by CDRS and Hum Network Foundation. The Solar Lighting Units that our technology partner, Arya Solar manufactured consist of:

The homes Hum Network Foundation and CDRS have built are earmarked for recent flood victims in Sindh (for more information see Facebook Page). Going forward we would like to continue to bring Light through Solar to Sindh’s rural population, for which we need help from our supporters who can make a monetary donation of any amount. Help Us light Sindh — One Lamp, One Family, One Village At A Time!

SA Relief is social good platform operating under the Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation (Paksef) which is an IRS tax-exempt 501(c)(3) California registered not-for-profit corporation.

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Terrorists Rock Karachi In Twin Blasts

Last night terrorists rocked Abbas Town which is a densely populated, predominantly Shia neighborhood of Karachi, killing scores of women and children. Thus far over 100 people have been reported dead, countless injured, over 800 people displaced from their burning homes.

SA Relief is observing the situation as we attempt to communicate rescue and relief activities from ground zero.
Temporarily Information is being sharing via our Twitter and Facebook pages:

SA Relief on Twitter
SA Relief on Facebook

If you have anything to report please kindly tweet us at @sarelief or email info@sarelief.com.

Presently there is an urgent need for blood. Citizen’s who are eligible to donate blood are invited to visit Jinnah Hospital or Agha Khan immediately.

A temporary shelter for people displaced from their homes has been setup. There is an urgent need for cooked food, water, and milk.

More information about the blast and immediate needs can be found on our associate, Faisal Kapadia’s blog

Compiled by AR Rafiq | Last Update: 6:03AM 04-03-13

Updated from WordPress for iPhone

#PKALERT – Pakistan Floods 2012

Over the past several days torrential rains have left deaths, destruction, and devastation in several parts of Pakistan. According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) the  late spell of Monsoon rains has damaged over 7,000 homes, claiming 75 lives, and injuring another 68.

To date the following regions have been affected: Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahimyar Khan in Punjab province (read more here), Jacobabad, Dadu, kandhkot, Shikarpur in Sindh province, and several districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (read more here)

SA Relief is closely monitoring the situation and has setup the #PKALERT call sign on twitter where communities or individuals looking for help can connect with possible care givers. Also individuals can reach to SA RELIEF directly via email at pkfloods@sarelief.com. Accordingly SA Relief will circulate and solicit support through our respective channels.

Additionally we encourage our civil society, NGO, and government partners assistance in keeping the following wiki page updated as a means to better facilitate and coordinate between stakeholders on the ground.

PKALERT – Floods 2012 Wiki

Education Relief for Flood Victims

KARACHI, JAN 2012: Team SA Relief pledges continued support for the School Of Britainnica education initiative, led by Mrs. Yasmin Nigar for children affected by the 2010 and 2011 monsoon flooding in Sindh, Pakistan. The school is situated along the Super Highway (Karach-Hyderabad M8 Motorway).

Yasmin Nigar, is an educationist and social activist from Pakistan. She is the owner of School of Britannica, a place built specifically for girls whose parents cannot afford or think of providing quality education to their daughters.

Watch Mrs Nigar tell you how she used to knock on every door in her neighborhood and convince the people there to educate their daughters. She also takes care of kids from flood affected areas, without any government assistance.

While initially the assistance for these people included rations, they have now been asked to find work, and the women and some men have been provided loans on a payable when able basis to sell water or tea at the nearby sabzi Mandi, or sell small towels etc at the gas stations on the highway, while the women were given bangles and mehndi etc to sell.

The main thrust for Mrs. Nigar is to see that the children do not loiter about and get into bad company, whilst commuting between the school and their homes. As a result Mrs Nigar has been personally transporting as many children as her Suzuki HiRoof can accommodate.

SA Relief has agreed, as part of our continued support to provide $1.500 (Rs 133,500) for three months to cover the cost fuel, driver’s salary, and also provide warm clothing to children and elderly folks. In exchange Mrs Yasmin Nigar has agreed to furnish SA Relief with a monthly status report that would include detailed accounting of the funds. Earlier on October 16, 2011 we handed Mrs Yasmin Nigar a check for Rs 120,000 (approximately $1,348).

Mrs Yasmin Nigar informs us  that about $340/month (approximately Rs. 30,000/month) would cover these expenses and has requested long term commitments from prospective donors. Other than that there are recurring expenses for meals for the children, books, uniforms and stationary items. For information on donating to this cause email pkfloods@sarelief.com

Following is a documentary on Mrs Yasmin Nigar and her work:

SA Relief, a DBA operating under Paksef (Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible non-profit Corporation registered in California, U.S.A.

Pkrelief update

Relief initiatives completed this week

1) Abdul Sattar Ishaqani and Nishat wellfare organization combined with us to bring relief in the form of 500 ration hampers as well as medicines and a medical camp to the area of Sanghar. Pictures of this undertaking are available here

2) Hamid Yahya and his team from CFC took their team to sanghar and we supported them with 300 ration hampers, 450 litres of water and medicines. Pictures of this undertaking are available here

3) Alhuda’s team went to Sujawal and we supplied them anti malaria medicine for 400 patients.

4) We started a Kitchen In Khorwah, about an hours drive from badin with the help of our team member Salim Khan to bring cooked meals of Water and beef to 750 people daily. This kitchen has been working all of last week and pictures of our cooked meal distribution are available here.

5) We have also received a donation for 10,000 fruit juice packs and have sent half of these to badin already, they will arrive and be distributed tomorrow.

Initiatives to come

As you have probably noticed , our focus in on immediate relief right now. This is because there are according to conservative estimates more than 8 million people on the roads od Sindh right now. So the real desperate need is of cooked food, water, juice, rations, anti malaria and malaria preventive medicine, mosquito nets and so on.  Rehabilitation plans will come later, first we need to ensure that these people do not die of hunger or sickness.

We at Sarelief do not believe in waiting for the right time to distribute aid, we believe every moment is precious and thus try to get aid to the ground as fast as possible and through partnering with any reliable organization. We also do NOT charge fuel expenses, travelling expenses, food lodging or any other kind of administrative overheads thus insuring that every single penny of your aid gets to the needy, not some percentage of it.

We appeal to every single one of you to help our pakistani brethren out of this tragedy, whether it is by donating to us or to any other reliable organization on the ground!!

We thank all our donors for the support they have given us, god bless all of you wherever you are!!

Pk relief is the hashtag (#pkrelief) we use on social media to categorize all the work being done by us and our partners on the ground in the 2011 rain disaster in Pakistan.

To Donate please click here.

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PkRelief : Expense Sheet

In an effort to maintain transparency during our flood relief efforts in 2011. Our on-ground partners [Dr. Awab Alvi & Faisal Kapadia] in Karachi have chosen to make public the expenses made on each relief mission which they have carried forth into the flood affected region. At the same time for the sake of privacy the names of donors has been kept private only showing publichly the total sum of donations received. It can in-effect be used as barometer to calculate the remaining funds in-hand with PkRelief. Please do appreciate that they have tried their best to acquire the best possible rates to effectively utilize the donations received.

Sindh Flooding: Relief & Recovery Resources

SA Relief is keeping track of relief resources and information in various areas of Sindh. We request you to help us by willing out the form below with any information you have about relief groups or organizations catering to the flood victims. Our team will verify the information submitted before it’s published here.

Flood Relief Mission II — Badin

Owly Images

SUNDAY, SEPT 11, 2011: Team PKRELIF, which is a conglomerate between SA Relief and OffroadPakistan plans to head towards Badin (in Sindh, Pakistan) which is the worst hit flood area. Approximately 980,000 acres, 1,021,300 victims, 438,000 houses have  been  destroyed.  This will be team PKRELIF’s second expedition, with the first that took place last week before the Eid holidays (click for full report).

The plan is to go with 300+ food hampers, also included are large quantities of ready-to-eat food items.  We invite volunteers, but only if you are ready to help and are self sufficient. To volunteer email Awab Alvi or Faisal Kapadia at pkfloods@sarelief.com. You can also contribute by donating funds.

All major credit cards accepted and processed through PayPal

Funds are being collected by Paksef (Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible non-profit Corporation in California. SA Relief operates under Paksef.

Local Pakistan residents can donate via Bank Al Habib
Account#: 1078-0081-001670-01-4
Branch Code: 1078
Contact Person: Faisal Kapadia (pkfloods@sarelief.com)

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