Bathing place for people and water buffalos alike

by Ruth Bücker,  2010/09/06

For five days now, Ruth Bücker has been reporting from Pakistan. And she still is confronted with a country struggling with the consequences of a disaster of immense extent and with people whose misery can hardly be described with words.

The river Indus, which had brought along the disastrous flood in Sukkur, now serves as bathing place for people and water buffalos, as toilet and dumping ground all at once; people also use it to wash their few possessions, such as plates or clothes.

Furthermore, the Indus also is a breeding place for bacteria and in many cases causes life-threatening infections among the people who had lived in the slums at its shores and are now slowly returning to the chaotic place which had once been their home.

For a long time still, the flood will remain a subject of conversation in Pakistan. Photo: humedica/Simon Gelzenleuchter

Watching the people swim and wash in this germ pool is alarming. Both dishes and people’s faces and bodies are continuously subjected to the water; and of course people gladly resort to refreshing themselves in the cool river, since they suffer from a terrible itch and from the heat in general. Most of them are probably not even aware of the fact that their skin will itch even worse due to the water.

Besides the festering abscesses, eye infections and flaky or sore skin the water causes, I do not even want to imagine what it must mean to be forced to drink this water. But what else could the people living in the flood regions do? At the moment there are only insufficient – if any – alternatives.

And despite all this, the Pakistanis are incredibly friendly and cheerful. The water had literally been up to their necks, but still those who have survived the flood without losing any family members or loved ones are grateful for this circumstance.

Back home, I have been thinking about buying a dishwasher for some time, since it is more comfortable than washing the dishes by hand. And quite often I think about what could be improved in my apartment and about what is not yet ideal in my home.

But what if one’s home were gone from one day to the other? If one’s home had become a mud pit, one’s belongings been carried away by the water and all that was left were ruins and rubble?

It is only when living among the poorest of the poor that I realise how grateful I actually should be for the comfortable and secure life I lead. Grateful for how well I am.

At the moment I am simply grateful for the fact that – thanks to the support of our friends and sponsors – I can be here in Pakistan to help the flood victims and tell you that your help reaches the people and is received with gratitude so deep you can hardly imagine. I could not imagine, before I had seen it for myself…

At this point I would like to ask you to continue supporting us by means of a text message containing the reference DOC to 8 11 90 or by making a donation for the people affected by the flood in Pakistan via our online form or 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 and kind regards from Sukkur,


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