Faizan Nazeer Kanji (Pakistan, AC 09-11)
As huge tides submerge town after town, Pakistan faces its worst ever natural disaster. One fifth of Pakistan has been under water over the previous month, due to heavy monsoon rains and poor planning. The Indus, which has for decades been a blessing to the agriculture-based economy of Pakistan, unleashes its wrath on all four provinces of the country. These waters have devastated the lives of about 20 million people, more than the people affected by the 2004 Tsunami, 2005 Kashmir Earthquake and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake combined!
These 20 million include the millions of farmers, whose sole income depends on the few acres of land and the few livestock they have and who have now lost absolutely everything. They will never be the same again. Their existence has been scarred forever. It also includes the thousands of children separated from their families, alone and petrified, struggling to find any bit of food they can. It includes the 4 million who have witnessed huge waves destroy their homes, their shelters. Even after the floods recede, they do not have anywhere to go. It includes the 3.5 million children in danger of contracting dangerous water borne diseases, requiring urgent medical assistance. It includes the pregnant women who are cursing their fate, for they do not want their children to open their eyes to years and years of misery.
These people seek refuge in the highlands, but find all links to the world destroyed as bridges collapse and they are left stranded, hoping for miracles. They are surrounded by immense amounts of water, yet their days are spent trying to find the little clean drinking water they can to take them to the next day. Each person’s live has turned into a struggle for survival as all hope is put on those heaven sent helicopters taking them to safety and providing them with aid. They know their lives will never be the same, and the only thing they ask for now is food and clean water to get them through the day and medical assistance to protect them from the deadly water borne diseases that are spreading exponentially.
Ban Ki Moon on his visit to Pakistan said, “I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.” Indeed ‘flood’ has taken a new meaning after this disaster. In this time of crisis, humanity must be the miracle these people seek. Everyone must try to play their part. Even a small donation can ensure that a family lives one more week. It is in these times that people around the world must prove that in times of need, we stand together. It is now that we can make a difference. It is now that we can be angels for the victims. It is now that we must do everything we can.
It is not that hard to play a part. I urge everyone, where ever they may be, to give something to any charity they can find helping the flood victims in Pakistan. A small donation can make many lives better. Organize fundraisers, donate supplies, do anything you can, and be the light of hope these people are dying to see. The return of anything close to normal life for these people will take years and years of rehabilitation and help and support from the world. It is important to get started now. Therefore we must help the Pakistan flood victims, and prove that humanity exists and thrives.
-United World Colleges Student Magazine-