Sukkur is terrible

by Ruth Bücker,  2010/09/14

The new humedica team has been working in the city of Sukkur for two days now. Sukkur is located in the district of Sindh in the south of Pakistan and counts 700,000 inhabitants. According to estimates, about 300,000 people here have been affected directly by the floods. And I am already deeply moved and shocked after having met only a few of them.

All the camp’s inhabitants suffer from a terrible itch. They scratch themselves sore and their wounds soon become inflamed. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

At one of the camps our medical team visits, we come upon the worst living conditions and circumstances I have ever experienced during the one week and half I have spent here – the worst I have ever experienced in my life. There is not a single breath of air, and the heat is unbearably oppressive. I feel like I am sweating more than I can drink. But in contrast to the people living here, at least I have drinking water.

The remains of the flood can still be seen; they have become dark green and black pools full of algae which are polluted with waste and faecal matter and they smell awfully. And then there are those annoying flies; masses of flies which are thriving under these conditions.

They fly directly into my eyes, alight on my sweaty face and crawl around on my lips and nose. I do not even want to think about where those insects have sat before. However, I think about that only in the evening, after we have returned to our accommodation. While seeing all those people in their misery, I could not really think of anything at all.

It really was horrible”, reports nurse Carolin Müller after work. “The people are weak and ill, they suffer from hunger and although aid has already been extended to them, it apparently is nowhere near enough. There are too many people living in this place who need help urgently.

500 families are living at this makeshift camp, and when I walk through it with my camera and pass their shelters, their sleeping platforms made of straw, chickens scratching in the dirt and asses and goats which are lying in the sun lazily, the families welcome me kindly, shake my hand and start talking to me.

It is like living on the dumping ground. The camp is one large germ pool. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

I do not understand them, but they show me where they hurt, and that they need food. I can only take them to our doctors and then there is nothing more I can do for them, which is a frustrating fact.

The children seem to think my camera an opportunity for their lives. They follow me closely wherever I go and run in front of the lens as soon as I lift my camera to take a photo. I get the feeling that they put great hope into my photos – they expect much more than I can give them.

I am glad and grateful for the fact that the humedica team and the employees of Riverside Slum Children Projects help the people living at this camp. By setting up a mobile hospital, drugs can be provided to the camp’s inhabitant, doctors examine those in pain and the flood victims realise that they are not alone, that there is somebody who takes care of them.

Thank you, dear friends and sponsors, for having made this aid possible so far. Please continue supporting us in order to take care of the children, women and men in Pakistan who are forced to live under such inhuman conditions due to the flood.

Send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90, make a donation via our online form, or donate an amount you consider appropriate for helping these people to the account below. Your help reaches the people.
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood relief Pakistan”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
        Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Yours faithfully,
Ruth

A large number of patients in Sukkur are still waiting for medical treatment. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

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