Incredible water levels

by Judith Kühl,  2010/08/18

In today’s report, coordinator Judith Kühl is once more making us aware of the devastating extent of the disaster in Pakistan and of the misery people there are living in. Lines about a surreal life amidst bitter reality.

Millions of people are living in tents out in the open in the vast flood region of Pakistan. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

The water rose to a level of up to two metres. The dirty walls of the remaining houses are exact indicators of the water level of the past few days. “Khar Khal,” an almost completely destroyed village with 700 families, is located directly by the riverside. Now it rather looks like a small island surrounded by wet fields and the river, the level of which is still substantially higher than usual.

While the water has retreated from most places in the village, the dirty and sticky layer of mud it has left behind is now revealed. Metre-high piles of mud stretch along the roadside. The inhabitants have started to clean up. But it will still take a long time before the place will be tidy once more. The people are carrying shovels full of mud, slush and dirt out of their houses; in many cases only out of the ruins of their houses.

In order to reach all places, the inhabitants have put high, flat stones in the smaller streets which are still flooded. An older woman is slowly balancing across the stones and uncertainly steadies herself by means of holding on to the wall beside her. A father is carrying his son with a bandaged foot through the water which reaches his ankles. Older people sit down on wet beds in mouldy rooms after finishing the exhausting work of cleaning them from the mud.

A man is putting his crockery which he managed to retrieve from the riverbank on his bed. This is all which is left to him. A girl next to me starts to cough. Then one more girl is suddenly coughing. The mouldy air in the village is affecting one’s airways.

The small main street in the middle of “Khar Khal” is no longer flooded, but nevertheless, no vehicles can be used yet. Here too, the flood has left clear traces. The majority of the smaller shops are closed, since their entire goods have been destroyed. The only things that are sold once more are sweets and dirty bottles of Coke, which have been found in the mud. The inhabitants are yearning for normality.

No escape from chaos: it is the Pakistani children in particular who need help urgently. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

A boy finds a dirt-covered school bag close to his house. He picks it up as though he had to hurry back to his lessons. But the school is currently closed. It will still take a lot of time before normal every-day life can set in once more.

In cooperation with the authority of the town district, humedica is going to set up a mobile hospital at the village school in the days to come. Before this boy can go back to school, we need to take care of his health. Just as we need to care for the numerous other families who have been suffering for almost three weeks due to the disastrous flood and its consequences.

Dear friends of humedica: please continue supporting the work of our medical team in Pakistan. This disaster is of a size we can hardly stand up to without your financial support.

You can send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90 and contribute a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into our project work. Please also donate for the flood victims in Pakistan via our online form, or choose the traditional way of supporting us by transferring your donation to the account below:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Flood relief Pakistan"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Thank you very much!

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