IDPs demonstrating unity in hour of turmoil

    Pakistan Observer
    22 May 2009

    Mardan—Hundreds of thousands displaced persons from different areas of NWFP are braving the harsh weather and difficult times at camps in Mardan and Swabi. It is quite unusual for them to live in hot weather of Mardan instead of pleasant and scenic Swat valley. Once living in near 20C, they are now compelled to breathe in 40C at refugee camps and sleep on bare floor in flimsy tents that offer little protection from heat. Felt inclined to bear the brunt of this misery, they still hope for good days and urge everybody to play a role for an early conclusion to the operation.

    Though the government and the other agencies were at their toes to provide relief to these refugees, yet that big magnitude of influx required national level relief efforts.

    As number of displaced persons is quoted to be more than a million, reported IDPs number in NWFP by now hover around 600,000 with around 50,000 registered outside NWFP, 330000 from Buner, 102000 from Lower Dir and thousands from Swat.

    Sheikh Yaseen Town and Sheikh Shehzad Town camps in Mardan are sheltering the major chunk besides smaller camps like Mohabbat Abad and Jalala camp. In Swabi, main camps are Yar Hussain Wah, Shah Mansoor and Chhota Lahore. Some smaller camps have also been established in Nowshera and Char Sadda.

    Settlers at Sheikh Yaseen Town and Sheikh Shehzad Town in Mardan are being offered food and non-food items (NFI) including cotton, kitchen utensils, bucket, soap etc by Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, World Food Support Program and other organizations.

    International Organizations and NGOs like UNHCR, UNICEF, and Al-Khidmat camp, Guldusta Welfare Organization, Philanthropist Relief Camp, Engineering University Mardan Camp, Lady Health Worker Programme, Tehrik Insaf, Population Department, Ummah welfare Trust and Khudi Khidmatgar are doing a commendable job in providing water, arranging sanitation, baths, kitchen utensils and food stuffs. But, still safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities are the main problem resulting in ailment of kids and infants.

    Dr Sartaj, Deputy Director Health Services FATA has reported 50 patients coming to medical camp every day suffering from water borne diseases.

    “They suffer from upper respiratory track system, typhoid, food poison, gastroenteritis and diarrhea,” said Sartaj.Another practitioner, Dr. Aimal Khan, Executive Director Frontier Primary Healthcare also stressed for the provision of safe drinking water which is already in shortage.—APP

    Original artice can be viewed here.