It was still dark and the sky was calm. Trees rustled quietly and all went as usual. It wasn't long before people were to awake for a normal day.
But, at the first light of dawn, people began running desperately down the streets of Thatta. Word was spreading like wildfire that the Soorjani Band had broken. Water had flooded villages nearby, and was heading towards Sijawal, Daro, Mir pur Bathoro and the main city of Thatta district. In mere minutes, the lives of almost a million people were at stake.
Chaos spread as, all at once, hundreds of families had to flee, taking only what they could grab as they rose from sleep. Everyone was laden with whatever they could carry, some only clutching their children as they ran.Participatory Development Initiative [PDI] is a not-for-profit working on behalf of local communities in Pakistan, especially women. As they too awoke to the panic, the team in Thatta knew the most urgent need was to help this evacuation. But they only had one truck on hand. Despite the chaos, a few members of the team managed to get outside of Thatta to where they thought they could rent vehicles of some kind. As quickly as possible they returned with the only three things available: two buses and a wagon.By evening of that first terrible day, the roads leading out of Thatta were still jam packed with people moving on foot and trucks. Dust-covered and panting, the PDI team moved with them, rushing in and out of the district.
Adapted from a story by Khalida Brohi, Participatory Development Initiatives
See more news from PDI here >> http://www.pdi.org.pk
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(posted by Jane Wulf)