Update on our fund-raising efforts for the floods in Pakistan.

Sergeant Sparrow has been fund-raising for the Floods in Pakistan. We have a write up in the Martha’s Vineyard times you can read here.

http://www.mvtimes.com/marthas-vineyard/article.php?id=2415

We have been working with the Mercy Corps, and have been in touch with the Shahina Aftab Foundation based out of the UK. We have donation boxes around the Island where you can donate items to be sent to Pakistan. So far donations have been SLOW, I know we are all suffering from an economic downturn, and we are broke, but I bet you have a sheet laying around you could donate that someone who has lost everything could use to sit on. You might have a box of crackers your not going to eat, a tooth brush you are saving for guests, that you could donate. Please if you have anything donate to our boxes. We have them located at Up Island Paint and Tool in West Tisbury, Conroy’s Apothecary.

Noor Aftab has been afflicted with a water borne disease, gastro entritis, she is in Pakistan distributing aid and emergency relief to those in need.

In her words
“I am writing this now so I could tell you whatva gastro patient goes through. This is the largest spreading water borne disease in flood hit areas. The patient I was Told has only a few hours between fight for life.

It’s draining me now n quickly. I want to make it in the 15 minute interval that I have before am too drowsy. The injection had sedatives I feel.

Imagine stranded in SWAT. Road network broken and gastro hits u. U loss salts n water quickly. 70% of body is water…if it drains u are dead. What does a person in swat do? There is no water except flood water— remember it has remains of dead animals & humans. In a stomach that’s already churning with pain…this speeds the pain process.

The medicines are not to expensive but time is against us. What do these people do to survive? There is no food. Road & communication network is broken. Aid workers have security threats. But there are 200,000 are disabled, women n children.

For those of us, trying to make it there with sanitary items foods n blankets aid is NOT reaching fast enough.” Our Prayers are with you Noor.

Please help us to help those affected and donate to our Mercy Corp Page. Time is of the essence to save lives.

http://www.mercycorps.org/fundraising/sergeantsparrow

From the Mercy Corp page:

The worst monsoon-related floods in living memory have deluged Pakistan since July. Large parts of the country have been devastated by unusually heavy rainfall, causing rivers to overflow their banks and flash floods in low-lying areas. The flood damage, which started in the northwest and is spreading to central and south Pakistan, is already enormous. With the monsoon season only half over, more rain is forecast.

The UN reports that more than 4 million people have been forced from their homes because of the flooding. The catastrophe is affecting 20 million residents. At least 1,600 people have been killed. Villages have been wrecked and homes destroyed. The deluge has ruined crops over an estimated area of more than 1.6 million acres, according to Reuters, and could have a devastating effect on the country’s economy.

The most urgent problems include lack of clean drinking water, food and shelter, and the threat of widespread disease outbreaks.

Mercy Corps Responds in Two Areas

Mercy Corps is working in two hard-hit areas of Pakistan: the Swat Valley, in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and Sukkur, in northern Sindh Province.

Mercy Corps Response In the Swat Valley

Mercy Corps has a 20-person team delivering clean water, food and rebuilding supplies to families in the Swat Valley, where many people affected by the deluge were already struggling to meet their basic needs.

We have distributed 500 food kits containing 10 kg of rice, 2 kg of lentils, 3 kg of cooking oil and 2 kg of powdered milk. We also have distributed 338 tool kits containing a wheelbarrow, shovel, hammer and other implements.

We have provided 110,000 people with 1.1 million gallons of clean drinking water. We are trucking water into towns, disinfecting water through chlorination, repairing water-related infrastructure and restoring and building new water sources.

In the coming days, we will distribute 400 hygiene kits containing such items as water coolers and jerry cans.

Mercy Corps Response In Sindh Province

Another eight-person Mercy Corps team is in Sukkur, in Sindh Province; we will soon expand to 20 people. Authorities estimate that 3.6 million people are now homeless in Sindh, with numbers expected to rise as floodwaters move south.

An assessment revealed washed-out crop fields, damaged villages, flooded towns, hundreds of impromptu tent camps and thousands of families and their livestock on the move. Clean water was identified as the most critical need.

Mercy Corps has set up two high-volume water filtration units to improve the quality of local drinking water, a major health concern. We are distributing clean drinking water and hygiene kits (containing soap, shampoo, feminine napkins and other essential supplies) to approximately 11,000 people in 12 displacement camps and schools that have been converted into temporary shelters.

We also have started work to improve sanitation, building 100 latrines so far in Sukkur camps.

We have established two mobile health units that treated 220 people in a single day. One is based in Sukkur, and one in an outlying area.

We also established a women’s health clinic at a displacement camp in Sukkur that treated 130 women and children in one day. Staff includes a midwife, a female doctor and a community mobilizer who is teaching hygiene to women.

Dr. Arif Noor, Mercy Corps’ health director, says waterborne illness from dirty water and improper sanitation is “a real threat.” Dr. Noor is in Pakistan coordinating the establishment of our mobile medical clinics in Sindh.

New Funding for Long-Term Response

As immediate, life-saving needs are met, Mercy Corps is beginning to tackle longer-term recovery challenges, which will require significant time, energy and investment. Our initiatives will help people earn the income they need to support their families and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

This work is beginning now. Mercy Corps has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to repair water systems, distribute cash vouchers and operate cash-for-work programs in both the Swat Valley and Sindh Province. The short-term jobs program will employ 3,600 people to rebuild roads, clear debris and repair irrigation channels and retaining walls.

Farming and Food

Our experts are preparing to start work on agricultural recovery. In the coming days, they will visit farms in Sindh province that were not damaged during the floods to determine how destroyed farms and crops can best be reinvigorated. This is critical as the vast majority of displaced families are small-holder farmers, and the floods will likely be devastating for Pakistan’s fall wheat harvest – potentially creating significant food shortages.

Mercy Corps in Pakistan

Mercy Corps was active in the Swat Valley and in Sindh Province before this season’s flooding. In the Swat Valley, we were helping families who had fled last year’s fighting between militants and government forces return to their homes and reestablish their lives. In Sindh Province, we have supported health clinics and helped small-scale dairy farmers improve their livelihoods.

How Individual Donors Can Help

Every donation brings relief to the families affected by the epic flooding in Pakistan. For example:

* $10 provides a family with clean drinking water for two weeks.
* $30 provides a family with a two-week supply of cooking oil, rice, sugar and other staples.

$70 provides a wheelbarrow, shovel, hammer and other tools to clear debris and repair homes.

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