Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pakistan's floods termed a wake-up call

Faiza Ilyas in Speakers at a seminar on flood relief measures have said that in the wake of climate change reports, it has become crucial for Pakistan to make special efforts to meet the challenges posed by natural disasters whose frequency has increased over the past few years.

They added that this could be done by identifying vulnerable areas, making plans to ensure their safety and constituting teams of trained volunteers across the country that could be called in at the time of a calamity.

The seminar, ‘Sharing what we saw: A story of pain and suffering’, was organised at the University of Karachi on Saturday by the university’s disaster management volunteer corps that recently visited Nawabshah, Thatta, Sujawal, Gharo, Badin and adjoining areas to distribute relief goods among more than 700 families.

Sharing her observations, Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, pro-vice chancellor of KU, said that the scale of devastation in the interior of Sindh was much bigger than last year’s losses and the poor, especially women and children, needed immediate help.

“During our visit, we saw thousands of people, who lost their villages to floods, staying in the open by roadsides or in make-shift shelters that lack the basic necessities of life. They were in dire need of potable water, food and medicines and were suffering from various ailments,” she said, adding that children had lost their schooling and playgrounds and were found sitting idle and frightened....

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