On 21st July 2010, a devastating disaster took place which caused havoc all over Pakistan. It rained heavily which caused flood and ultimately it led to the destruction of the country. It’s still raining in many parts of Pakistan and there is no clue yet about when it’s going to end.
Initially the flood affected the eastern parts of Baluchistan which includes: Barkhan, Kohlu, Sibi, Jafferabad and Naseerabad districts. These areas of Baluchistan were badly in need of medical aid and other such facilities which were yet to be provided and the relief operations in these areas were not over yet, when the flood reached district Ranjpur, Layya and Gujranwala in Punjab and took the lives of so many people. Then it turned towards Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Jammu & Kashmir where various towns and cities got sunken. This flood caused a lot of loss in KPK where the most affected areas are: Shangla, Swat, Minghora, Mansehra, Charsadda and Noshehra towns. The conditions of the people living in these areas have become so worse, they are still waiting for aid and relief but somehow they are not getting any sort of help yet.
In 63 years of history, Pakistan has been affected by the worst flooding so far. According to the United Nations estimate, 4 million people have been affected while 1500 people have died.
The heavy monsoon rains have grounded many helicopters trying to rescue people and provide aid which included six US choppers.
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The country was not over with the mourning of such a great loss that there was an arrival of another deadliest tragedy to jolt the country. On 28th July 2010, the incessant monsoon rain caused the Air Blue plane to lose its balance, thus it crashed at about 15 kilometers from the airport, scorching a wide stretch of the Margalla Hills including a section behind Faisal Mosque, one of the most prominent landmarks of Islamabad. This plane carried 146 passengers (2 of them were US citizens) and 6 crew members. The Airblue jet’s crash was so severe that it caused the death of all the passengers and their body parts were found scattered, though nothing else could be found. According to rescue worker Murtaza Khan “There is nothing left, just piles and bundles of flesh. There are just some belongings, like two or three traveling bags, some checkbooks, and I saw a picture of a young boy. Otherwise, everything is burned.”
After looking at the recent condition of our country, a question arises in every thoughtful mind, “Why are people not donating that much this time as compared to the earthquake of 2005?” If we give a deep thought to this question we will realize that the country is the same, the people are the same and their feelings and sympathies are same as were during the earthquake of 2005, then what might be the reason of less interest to raise the funding?
After the incidence of this devastating natural disaster, the death rate in the country is increasing day by day and it will continue even if the rain subsides. The flood has brought with itself, contagious diseases and viruses and so the contaminated water is very deadly for those living in such areas. However, it is observed that many of those who have lost their homes, shelter and their source of income are not getting enough help and will remain deprived of their basic necessities, perhaps forever and so death is their ultimate future. The reason behind why the affectees are not getting enough help may be due to the fact that somehow the people have lost faith in the political authorities as majority of the Pakistani citizens believe that the money which they are donating would not get into the right hands.
Though, if we look at the contributions done by different countries, one of which is UK which donated £4 million to Pakistan flood victims, other than that the United Nation, World Bank and many other organizations including the Edhi Foundation (Pakistan), we cannot say that people are not donating. Besides, there is a big hand of the local people in collecting large amount of funds.
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The Government of Pakistan estimates that about 7,000 sq km of crops were washed away in Punjab and KPK alone. Approximately, 80% of crop losses are predicted in some of the most affected areas planted with cotton, rice, vegetables, sugar cane, tobacco and maize. Whereas, stored grain and stocks of planting seeds and straw have been washed away. Crops of millet and sorghum grown for fodder has also been washed away or destroyed. This has caused an enormous impact on the farmers as the crop farming and livestock rearing were the only source of livelihood for these farmers in the most affected areas.
Now, as the fields of the food stuff got washed away, the prices of the food items have raised thus it has become difficult for the people to afford such high prices. This is one of major reasons why the amount of donations has been reduced as compared to the earthquake of 2005. Also, the incessant floods have proved to be more devastating than the earthquake as it has caused more loss to people, physically as well as financially.
All these reasons make us ponder that being the citizens of Pakistan, it is our duty to donate whatever we can and stand united as a nation in the time of crisis. Definitely the conditions of our country will become better. We can bring the change only if we want to. “If we try, we can.”