Muneeza Kazi, who lives in Karachi, felt driven to get involved in relief work. She writes about her experience:"I started by collecting donations from friends, family and contacts. These were added to the relief activities of my employer (a well known International Bank), with the collaboraton of the NGOs Hope and Red Crescent. We collected $25,000 USD and donation-in-kind -- enough to fill up a large container. We set off on Friday September 3, 2010, taking a truck load of food and relief materials to Thatta District in the Sindh Province. When we reached the destination, what struck me most was the utter magnitude of the disaster. There were people all over, thousands, some with the luck of having received tents, some without. No facilities for garbage disposal or temporary toilets, and a lack of any organized governmental system of distribution or database for ascertaining who and where is in need of relief.
I saw donation-in-kind arriving. But what was missing were volunteers to help out with the packing and distribution of goods, information on areas in dire need of help, and facilities to reach those areas. Not just food is needed, but things like rubber boats, building material, seeds, fertilizers.Helping the victims who've been brought into urban relief camps is somewhat easier. But many people have decided not to go to the camps. Finding whatever dry land they can to perch on, they chose to stay closer to what's left of ther homes, belongings and animals. Their fear is that if they're forced to evacuate farther, they'll have to sell their animals at a fraction of their worth.
I realized that it actually requires a real experience to truly feel the gravity of a situation. Watching the plight of the flood victims on TV may arouse a distant sympathy. But when I saw them face-to-face, saw the sick children, watched the naked hunger written in their parched faces, and witnessed fights over food and water, only then did I realize how huge the problem is, and how badly these people need help.
This has only persuaded me to plan another relief trip to the region, this time into the more remote regions to help provide shelter to the victims."-- Muneeza Kazi, Karachi, Pakistan
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(posted by Jane Wulf)