Double catastrophe for people in Pakistan’s Swat Valley
People in the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan hit by the catastrophic floods were only just recovering from the conflict that forced them from their homes last year, said Neva Khan, Oxfam's Country Director in Pakistan.
Neva Khan said:
"We are now in a race against time to avert a public health disaster. The countryside is drowning in an ocean of contaminated water. The very young are at risk of going down with severe diarrhea. Given the lack of food, the displacement and their vulnerability, a bout of diarrhea could be a death sentence.
"Oxfam is particularly worried about families in the Swat Valley because people were only just recovering from the crisis last year. People were forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and had just started to return home and rebuild some sense of normalcy – and then this happened. The floods are catastrophic.
"Those affected were already vulnerable and mostly poor and now they've been made homeless and in need of help once again.
"People desperately need clean water, food, shelter and healthcare.
"We had contingency supplies in country so we were able to respond very quickly but lack of electricity is causing us real problems. We're not able to pump water off the mains so we have supplied generators and are doing quick fix repairs to water systems that have been destroyed.
"The rains are very heavy indeed. Whenever it rains the levels rise so fast.
"There are queues and queues of people waiting for clean drinking water. Oxfam is trucking water in mobile water tanks to reach people who have been living in contaminated sludge for days."
Oxfam is appealing for $US6 million to reach 400,000 people with clean water, sanitation kits and hygiene supplies. The agency is responding now and will also help boost recovery over the long-term.
Notes to Editors
Photos from Pakistan are available on request.
Oxfam staff are available for interview on the ground in the affected area.
- £12 ($20) will buy one family hygiene kit (soap, washing powder, sanitary cloths, towels, oral rehydration salts, nail cutter/com
- £14 ($23) will buy one family household kit (plastic bucket, water cooler, floor mats, waste bin, shawls, water purification)
- £46 ($75) will buy tools for clearing up (shovel, pick axe, bucket, broom, wheel barrow)
Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973. We support local partners and work with government authorities to improve the livelihoods of those living in poverty, and provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict.
- Louis Belanger, Oxfam International Media Officer, + 1 917 224 0834
- Ian Bray, Senior Press Officer, Oxfam GB, +44 (0)1865 472289 or +44 (0)7721 461339
Disasters happen but the #inequality of risk is no accident. Our new report on #resilience http://t.co/XDMrZ3eK7r #climate20 min 28 sec ago
No accident millions at risk 2 disasters: Fundamental shift needed in power/politics http://t.co/NgcQrVEFfy #climate #inequality #resilience45 min 9 sec ago
More on the global land rush: @Global_Witness report on logging in #Cambodia http://t.co/2G6Qm7vHgx @TheEconomist #landgrabs3 hours 7 min ago
How to avoid 'sustainability fatigue': short hit-list for business leaders via @GuardianSustBiz http://t.co/GavVllQYkw #susdev4 hours 7 min ago
RT @revenuewatch: New @Oxfam post explains what works in the fight against #corruption! http://t.co/1nF9FWykjL via @fp2p15 hours 52 min ago
RT @MeatFreeMonday: The Canadian city of Vancouver will be supporting Meat Free Monday on 10 June! http://t.co/zQ2tfrDX8y17 hours 38 min ago
RT @OxfamAmerica: "I went to Haiti too…" @intldogooder reacts to Nora Schenkel's @NYTimes Op-Ed about #aid in #Haiti: http://t.co/gaCC9xKWWe17 hours 45 min ago
#Syria's #refugees face dire health risks due to lack of shelter, water, basic sanitation http://t.co/s2WBOxn7dI #SyriaCrisis19 hours 30 min ago
20 hours 51 min ago
#Mali emerges as most fragile country in Africa's Sahel region. Displacement & humanitarian funding totals http://t.co/Ro3q9jLKnq @reliefweb21 hours 31 min ago
We’ve come a long way baby… or have we? The 7 #Women's Empowerment Principles http://t.co/g0kFCHOPeD #BehindTheBrands @UN_Women22 hours 10 min ago
Almost 7M people are in need. Life in #Syria's conflict zone: photos http://t.co/ayQ4TgH8wL #SyriaCrisis1 day 25 min ago
Oxfam warns of health risks to #Syria #refugees as summer approaches http://t.co/hyO0oLc3OW Pls support our #SyriaCrisis appeal1 day 53 min ago
+80 countries pledged aid at last wk's #MaliConference, including an add'l $32M from the US http://t.co/WCukv0SV7x1 day 1 hour ago
Thx for speaking up for women: @MarsGlobal,#Mondelez & @Nestle have now moved from words 2 action http://t.co/laFtaWajFI #BehindTheBrands3 days 14 hours ago