UPDATE: IFAW Pakistan Flooding Effort 10.25.10
This year’s monsoon rains in Pakistan led to a disaster of unprecedented proportions. Entire villages were submerged and the country was faced with the tragic loss of thousands of people. A large percentage of the impacted area consisted of low-lying farm land near the Indus River and tributaries, so along with the human casualties, hundreds of thousands of cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys were also lost in the deluge.
Animals play a vital role in Pakistani families’ welfare. They help plow the land, they provide food, and they are constant companions.
Since the start of relief efforts in Southern Punjab more than 2 months ago, IFAW and local humanitarian group RAVI Foundation have provided feed for 22,945 animals.
“I have no words to thank all those who made it possible to feed my sick and weak animals. My husband died a few years back. He was the bread winner of the family. Since then, I have been selling the milk to live. These animals are the only hope for us to survive. I thought to sell my animals but now I’ve received the lifesaving aid”, said Mrs. Hajra Parveen from Kotla Haji Shah Union Council.
Mrs Parveen is one of 1,675 families that received IFAW-donated high protein feed (Wanda), wheat bran, weat straw to feed their animals.
During the process, relief teams noticed other pressing needs that needed to be addressed. Many animals were falling sick after drinking from stagnant and unhygienic water that quickly become breeding ground for bacteria and parasites.
Muhhamad Aslam, a local Punjabi farmer, would not allow his buffalo to drink from the standing water near his property. Mr. Aslam ended up using the same pot he used for cooking his family’s food to provide water (one bowl at a time) for his buffalo.
To solve this, IFAW sourced 1000 water and food troughs made out of recycled tires and an additional 50 families were also supplied with girders to construct much-needed animal shelters.
The flood water has now receded in most of impacted areas in Pakistan. “The Indus River is now flowing like a gentle man. People and animals are returning to their villages, some have even started clearing their areas by their own and trying to have some shelter in their devastated houses. This relief program is not only helping affected people and their animals but also educating the people to care and love the animals. The government of Punjab highly appreciates the great work done here”, said Dr. A.D. Khosa, Punjab District Livestock officer.