There are instances when one feels quite helpless at the state of affairs and wonders how could he make any positive difference. Indeed, the recent floods in Pakistan is one such occasion when many Pakistanis are feeling this way. Around 20 million people are estimated to be affected by the floods directly and innumerable societal affects on a broader scale. It is a natural disaster of such a huge scale that government, military, NGOs and civil society are working together toward saving people and helping survivors still feeling quite helpless.
Some major issues that have sprung up in light of the floods and extended damage everywhere are:
- Rescue of living people in flooded areas
- Availability of food
- Access to medicines, health facilities and psychological support
- Access to clean water
- Provision of shelter to the affectees
All these issues seek an immediate attention. It is clear that resource scarcity, ineffective resource mobilization and difficulty in doing rescue operations due to geographic difficulties are significant hurdles in the near-term.
On the longer-term, issues of higher importance remain to be resolved. Some of those issues are:
- Channeling the floodwater out to sea and repairing/developing dams, barrages and water channels throughout the country
- Rehabilitation of affectees back into their own areas
- Provision of alternative homes to the affectees
- Employment generation across all over Pakistan, especially in flood-affected areas
- Preparing land ruined by floods for use in agriculture, again
- Arranging for food security of the country by managing the food reserves (of wheat, rice, grains, etc.)
- Re-establishing the social protection measures and infrastructure (schools, colleges, hospitals, clinics, roads, parks, etc.)
- Finding hope and setting direction for the broken families, destitute adults, orphans and providing them psychological rehabilitation and some activity to keep themselves productively occupied
It indeed is a big loss and it cannot be corrected in one day, one week, one month or even one year. The short- and long-term goals for putting things back on track and bringing the house in order would need huge amounts of dedication, efforts, mutual support and commitment to a unified goal – of progressing together and reviving again. More than monetary aid, these are issues that need human care and support.
Pakistanis are a resilient nation. They have been through worst of conditions. As long as they stand united, I am sure the revival will come through. All that is needed is a firm faith in Almighty, coherent policies at the governmental level, support from all segments of the society and most importantly BELIEF in oneself and each other.
LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!