Laying the foundations for a future

by Daniel Vaupel,  2010/12/10

Long since, the headlines and reports about the flood of the century in Pakistan have disappeared from the media. Like was the case with Haiti, public attention has soon turned to other issues. Be it the latest publications of Wikileaks or the onset of winter in Germany.

Country Coordinator Daniel Vaupel (left) with employees of the partner organisation ARO Pakistan. Photo: humedica

The people who have survived the floods in Pakistan are facing completely different problems: their houses that had mostly been built of unburned clay bricks have been washed away completely or at least partly by the water masses.

For poor farmers or day labourers in particular, reconstruction is an almost unfeasible task. When looking into people’s eyes, you can see their resignation. Again and again, people living in the villages ask for reconstruction aid, but most of the international givers are only prepared to finance short-term aid, such as the distribution of relief goods.

humedica has chosen another path. We intend to provide as many poor families as possible with a basic house that will resist future floods. After thoroughly choosing the neediest families, the necessary building materials for this project will be supplied by our local partner organisation Aid for Refugees and Orphans (ARO).

Even during the planning phase, it had been essential to develop a simple, reasonably priced and nevertheless solid house. By means of this concept we intend among other things to prevent envy and resentment within the village communities.

Building material is distributed in three batches which are accompanied by workshops. Only those who have completed the first construction phase are given material for the next phase. By means of this approach we can prevent misuse of the relief goods and ensure the material is actually used as intended.

Houses for 300 families will be built in the north of Pakistan. Photo: humedica/Daniel Vaupel

We have chosen three districts as our project locations: Charsadda, Nowshera and Dera Ismael Khan. Working in those regions near Peshawar also carries some risk, since they are located only some dozens of kilometres from the tribal territories and hence from Afghanistan. These regions are frequently subject to suicide bombings.

Working at the villages, however, makes it clear that the extremists only belong to a small minority. In particular in remote villages we are met with an incredible gratitude. Once, we were even invited to talk at the mosque, where the individual inhabitants of the village expressed their thanks to us.

They did so, although they knew we were Christians and that usually we would be forbidden to enter a mosque. In moments such as this, the clichés prevailing in Germany are soon broken.

Currently, our assessment team continues collecting data in order to choose the families who are to receive the 300 houses we have planned to build for a start. We hope that these people who are usually rather suspicious towards strangers will keep us Europeans in good memories.

Please support our sustainable relief measures in Pakistan. You can donate online by clicking this link or you can send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. You will be charged 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica project work. Of course, donations made in the traditional way will also reach us.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood relief Pakistan
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Thank you very much from Pakistan,

Yours Daniel Vaupel.

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