By Kamran Chaudhry, Communications officer, Caritas Pakistan
Sohni Bibi sat stitching the patches of her tent as evening approached. Her two year old son, barefoot, waited besides as she finished the needlework.
It is now time to push the hearth inside the tents to keep them warm as well as brighten them.
“Cold air gushes inside through the torn walls of our shelter. The blankets available are too short and we have to stitch them together to cover both head and feet”, said Bibi showing a multi-textured quilt spread on packaging material covering the cold grounds.
Bibi’s family has been living in a tent village in Gadap town area of Karachi for more than three months. Millions like Bibi migrated to this southern metropolitan after the raging flood waters devoured a major part of Sindh province. There are 4,196 government relief camps in the region at present.
The European Union recently warned that super flood could linger up to another six months in the country as parts of the province remain under stagnant water. The majority of the internally displaced people are returning here as a result.
However the initial “sympathetic” response is slowly fading say Caritas Pakistan aid workers.
The dust and weather conditions have deteriorated the condition of tents. Several relief agencies have stopped providing the twice a day meals. The standards are falling as the gigantic phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction approaches.
“They still need our help”, said Dominic Gill, Executive Secretary of Caritas Pakistan in Karachi .
He was speaking at sidelines of Nov. 30 distribution of food hampers, kitchen utensils and hygiene kits among 355 flood survivors at Gadap Town . The locals presented ajrak (traditional shawl) as gifts to Caritas Pakistan aid workers at the event.
“Those living in educational institutes are now heading to camps after being forced out by the government. The large influx of immigrants in the overcrowded mega city can cause many problems and providing them livelihood is our top concern,” said Gill.