Pakistan - a Report from the DARTs delivering the equipment.
Eb and Andrew are working with the Interfaith League Against Poverty in Pakistan:
Firstly thanks for all your kind comments about our work, but the thanks must go to the previous 2 teams for their hard work in preparing the groundwork which makes it easier for us. Also the ILAP boys are doing such a top job and we couldn't ask for better hosts - nothing is too much trouble.
Yesterday, Andrew and I went to Charsadda again and to a village called Manzoore. This village is on the banks of the incredibly beautiful Swat river. The water levels were around 2 metres around the houses and of course had tremendous force, collapsing whole walls, weakening structures making them dangerous to inhabit and depositing 1 - 2 metres of fine sand throughout their home sites and over their agricultural lands. They cannot re plant without first removing the sand with heavy machinery which is in short supply.
We assisted unloading a truck of 17 boxes for the village from the ILAP Warehouse in Mardan. The boxes were numbered and distributed to families who immediately began clearing their home sites with our shovels. The expression of joy on the faces of the children and adults was indescribable. Opening the boxes was like opening Santa's bag of presents at Christmas - the excitement was obvious to all. Our police guards were also moved by what we were doing which makes their mundane job of guarding us have a purpose.
It saddens us deeply to see many children in rags and having extensive skin diseases. Beggar children were very difficult to watch begging in filthy rags in some of the larger towns. In the smaller villages there was more pride and the children were clean and happy. It is certainly far preferable to provide shelter at their home sites rather than in tent cities.
Malaria and dengue fever are increasing and there have been several deaths from the deadly Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). We stressed the importance of applying mosquito nets. At the ILAP camps, each family is provided with 2 mosquito nets. The DAI tents have enclosed sleeping areas making for perfect mosquito proofing plus of course the 2 large mosquito nets in each box. Not only are we providing shelter but the tent design and mosquito nets are effective methods of malaria and dengue control. Everyone has commented about the quality of the tents and box contents - certainly far and above everything else in the field. With winter coming on the DAI blankets are also brilliant - the polar fleece with waterproof backing is certainly very comfortable - we passed them around the villagers to try out the various ways they can be used - as a single blanket, as a double blanket, as a sleeping bag and as a cape with a pocket at the end to create a pillow - again far superior to anything else in the field that we saw. The recipients have also certainly made the tents comfortable with rugs, cushions, and furniture.
We go into the field as often as we can because of the logistics involved - the 1.5 hour drive there, organizing security, lots of discussions and cups of tea before anything gets done (just the tradition) and then we hold the distribution process up because the volunteers all want to come with us to meet the villagers. So we decided to limit our visits to prevent all the resource utilization required. Our role now is essentially to check on the process. Everyone we meet are so friendly it is hard to imagine extremists - it is so against their culture.
Next week we will be placing boxes in Nissatta. Enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed and felt privileged in taking them. We are getting better at being news reporters for DAI.
Eb & Andrew
Deployments Current and Future
Pakistan 700 boxes plus 5 Water systems for the victims of flooding
Sudan 180 boxes for refugees returning home
Haiti 192 boxes for ongoing victims of the earthquake plus schools and water systems to be sent shortly
Guatemala 50 boxes and 2 water systems for victims of severe floods
Pictures from our First Deployment in Pakistan