Blog: On the ground in Pakistan

Andrew Jalanski, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, has deployed to Pakistan to assist World Vision Pakistan colleagues respond to the massive flooding disaster engulfing the country.  

Andrew, one of a team of response specialists, is available to deploy into an emergency situation.
  • To be a doctor

    Mike Bailey, World Vision MEER advocacy manager
    Zaiba is eight years old.  She wears a Shalwar Kameez of flowers.  Dark blue like school ink, light blue like the sky, purple like grapes and small green leaves, pale against the petals. She covers her head with a scarf of red and purple in narrow stripes running lengthways. She is quietly proud that she has just started school, here in the camp in the Khairpur road just outside Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
    “What is your favourite subject at school, Zaiba?  Is it Sindhi, Urdu, English?” “English” she replies, chewing on the hem of her scarf. “Can you say some words in English?” She nods, “What is your name?” she asks.
    “Wonderful. Dave,” replies her inquisitive visitor.  “Dave Toycen, head of World Vision Canada. Counting and alphabet? One, two, three, four, five.  A, B, C”.
    More questions from ...

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  • Crystal water and islands in the sun – why our children are so sick…

    Anita Cole, an Australian, has lived in Pakistan for more than a decade.  Program staff - Khyber Paktunkhwa province.

    On the way from Multan to the southern part of Muzzafargah in Punjab province some parts of the district looked almost rain-starved while others were fully submerged with houses destroyed. Stagnant ponds and swiftly running river flows were equally mixed. In many places people’s possessions, children and cows were crammed precariously between the crowded road and contaminated water; a new twist on being between a rock and a hard place.

    The road south stands as a peninsula and sadly one that is collapsing under the dual pressures of watery currents and loaded trucks. Continued pressure could destroy the roads and completely cut off these communities. World Vision has switched to smaller trucks to help preserve the road and reduce the risk but may have to transport relief supplies by helicopter or ...

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  • Red raw bottoms, boils and scabies

    Claire Beck, Health Specialist, World Vision International

    I have had a couple of trips into the field in southern Punjab and a helicopter ride over the affected area. Though the flood directly impacted southern Sindh, over 1,000 km away, water is receding, but there is still a lot of water around.

    Some of the people we have met have had to move up to 50 km from their home and are living in derelict buildings or schools, with little or no facilities. One school we visited was dirty, they had water delivered twice a day, but we did not see any food and they had very few items that they were able to save. A local NGO was providing them with some food every few days.

    The children were hot and sweaty and many had skin diseases and diarrhoea. I saw little children, some less than 9-months-old, with red raw ...

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  • Everyday counts

    Conny Lenneberg, Director of Policy and Programs, World Vision Australia.

    “Every day counts.” Conny Lenneberg, policy director for World Vision Australia summed up the crisis facing children under one year old after three weeks of diarrhea, dehydration and going without enough food.  “These little ones are so fragile now; if we don’t get aid to them soon many will die.”
    We are in a camp for displaced persons north of Mazaffragar in Punjab province.  Shadia and Anim have been telling us what happened the night they abandoned their homes in Suzama village to the rising flood water.
    “In the night there was a warning from the mosque and our father went to look at the river. We were all awake because everyone was so tense. Our father said we had to leave right away. Everyone was in a panic to get their own things. We took some dry ...

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  • By tomorrow at any cost

    Mike Bailey, Advocacy and Communications Manager  

    “By tomorrow at any cost.” Arungzeb; World Vision’s Area Manager for Multan in Punjab is on the phone, in the car travelling from one cluster of shelters to another. Every call, text, e-mail and meeting is underpinned with the same determination to make things happen; to provide desperately needed aid in the biggest crisis we have faced.

    Hassnain, another World Vision colleague, and I stand in sand so hot it burns my feet through the soles of my shoes. “We did a distribution of food here yesterday and are planning another tomorrow.” Around us are open-ended tents like playing cards propped against each other. Underneath each, a Charpai bed frame and a family of women and children in bright Punjabi colours, sheltering in the shade, baked in the hot air but at least not seared by the sun.

     World Vision shelter kits ready for distribution in flood-affected KPK, Pakistan. 2 Sep 2010
    World Vision shelter kits ready ...

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  • What does it smell like there?

    Mike Bailey, Advocacy and Communications Manager

    “What does it smell like there”? I asked the World Vision Pakistan Advocacy Manager over the phone to Sukkar, in Pakistan’s Sindh province. “When you get close to where the people who have been displaced are living the smell cannot be described”, he said. “My throat was burning, my eyes were itching and I wanted to vomit. The stench was coming from the water and the mud; from the bodies trapped there. Eight thousand people are living here in this stink. They have been here for three weeks. The worst cases of malnutrition are really bad, distorted skeletal faces and pale skin. Children are suffering a lot from skin diseases. They play in the water because there is nowhere else for them to go. They need child friendly spaces and health care”, said Sarmad Iqbal, World Vision Advocacy Manager in Pakistan.

    Sarmad was seeing ...

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Our bloggers in Pakistan

Mike Bailey

Mike Bailey, World Vision's Advocacy & Communications Manager, has been deployed to Pakistan to assist our World Vision Pakistan colleagues respond to the massive flooding disaster engulfing the country.

Conny Lenneberg

Conny Lenneberg is the Director of Policy and Programs, World Vision Australia. Conny has been involved in humanitarian and development work in Pakistan since the early 1990s. She has travelled to Pakistan on a yearly basis and lived there for two years in 1996 and 1997 with family.

Claire Beck

Claire Beck is a Health Specialist with World Vision International. She is currently in Pakistan.