Sending Waves of Loving Assistance to the Flood Affected in Pakistan
By Singapore, Formosa and Indonesia Relief Teams
(Originally in English and Chinese)
In mid-February 2010, heavy snowfall and avalanches hit the northern province of Pakistan, burying houses under thick snow. The access roads were blocked, thus cutting off the food supply to the affected areas. Three months later, continuous heavy rainfall and landslides struck the Hunza region, causing rivers to rise to a dangerous level. The government expanded their evacuation efforts, relocating some 45,000 local residents to 20 shelters around Hunza. Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately responded to the disastrous events by providing a total of US$30,000 in financial aid and sending our Association members from Singapore and Formosa to the affected areas. On both occasions, the much needed food supplies were delivered to the hands of the destitute people with the help of the local NGOs, the Red Crescent Society and All Green Pakistan.
However, at the end of July, torrential rains caused massive flooding of the Bann River in Balochistan Province, the worst in more than 80 years. This was followed by a second wave of floods on August 14 around the Indus River in Sindh Province. In addition to hundreds of mud houses being swept away, government buildings, local businesses, schools and bridges were also destroyed along with thousands of acres of crops. More than 1,600 people lost their lives and over 20 million survivors have been rendered homeless and in desperate need of aid. Pakistani governments, countries worldwide as well as aid groups have been responding diligently despite vast difficulties in delivering supplies and reaching stranded villagers, with one of the most impacted regions being the Naushahro Feroze District in Sindh Province.
Hearing news of the disaster, Supreme Master Ching Hai conveyed Her utmost concern and prayers. She also offered altogether US$115,000 in funds to support the relief operation and medical treatment carried out by our Association members from Indonesia and Formosa (Taiwan) to help the afflicted.
Our Association’s relief team from Formosa reached the affected area on August 5 and with the help of All Green, 885 food packages containing rice, wheat flour, beans, sugar, salt and vegetable oil were prepared and sent to the extremely underserved in Naushahro Feroze District. As if hearing the prayers of the people in agony, Master specially instructed another relief team trained in medical and dental care to go and attend to their needs. The team arrived at Karachi on August 19 and Mr. Shah from the Red Crescent Society and Mr. Abid from All Green informed them that medical treatment was desperately needed due to un-hygienic water and food. Our Association members then spent the next three days working from morning to evening treating many patients at an elementary school and later in a shelter. They also provided 750 food parcels and 200 tents to the Indus.
From August 27 to September 10, our fellow initiates from Indonesia carried out relief work in the Charsadda and Karachi districts where some people in remote villages were still struggling to return to their normal lives almost a month after the floods. In Charsadda District, the team working together with Mr. Ali Imran from NAWA (Noble Aims Welfare Association) offered medical services and delivered relief packages containing food, soap and detergent to 2,000 affected families who had not received any prior aid. The team would like to thank Mr. Skandar Shairpao, a member of Charsadda Council, and Mr. Aftab Ahmed Khan Shairpao, the son of the former Pakistani Minister of Defence, who not only generously allowed them to use his property to distribute relief items but also provided security escorts throughout their mission there.
On September 4, our Association members arrived in Karachi. In cooperation with Mr. Kanwar Waseem, the Sindh Provincial Secretary of the Pakistani Red Crescent Society (PRCS), and Syed Ali MD, the head of PRCS Sindh medical aid operation, they provided a total of 8 emergency kits, each containing medical supplies for 500 people to various existing medical operations. Partnering with PRCS, the team offered free treatment for many refugees in the camps around the city of Thatta. While handing out 2,400 1–liter bottles of water to the most remote refugee camp and the needy people in the vicinity, they were touched to see a little boy with a peaceful face share all his bottled water with other kids.
Throughout the relief operations, in order to inform the people about extreme climate created as a result of global warming and its relevant solution, our Association members distributed SOS Climate Change flyers, printed in Urdu languages. These flyers were warmly received by the local inhabitants, as well as by members of the regional government organizations and the assisting organization. The Deputy District Officer of Naushahro Feroz, Mr. Abdul Aleem Sahto, expressed deep gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her immense love, for Her financial contribution, and for dispatching Her Association members to render disaster relief. He strongly supported the idea of “Be Veg! Go Green 2 Save the Planet!”
We are grateful to the governments and groups worldwide for their ongoing warm responses to relieve the Pakistani people’s suffering. We wish the affected people a swift recovery and pray that humanity hastens toward gentler, eco-conscious ways for the restored balance of this planetary home.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for Avalanche
and Flood Relief Work in Pakistan
* Formosan and Singaporian relief team members paid for their own transportation, food, and accommodation.