News / Asia

Eid-al-Fitr a Somber Affair in Pakistan as Flooding Affects Millions

Multimedia

Audio

Celebrations for the holiday Eid-al-Fitr in Pakistan are muted as millions of Pakistanis continue to suffer in the wake of the country's worst flooding.

The heavy rains came to Pakistan just before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, known locally as Ramazan, arrived.

Sunrise-to-sunset fasting is the key component of the month.  And while Eid-al-Fitr marks the end to the fasting, there seems to be no end in sight for millions of Pakistanis who were caught in the floodwaters.

Pakistanis normally celebrate Eid at home with their families.  But for many of the flood survivors, that is no longer an option.

Mohammad Urs lives in a tent camp in Thatta in the southern province of Sindh. He says he does not know where his brothers are.  He is trying to get in touch with them by phone.  He says that this is not a happy Eid.

Sindh province is now bearing the brunt of the disaster.   It took about a month for the floodwaters to settle there after traveling from Pakistan's northwestern mountains, down the country's large Indus River, to the southern lowlands along the coast.  In its wake, millions are finding shelter in makeshift tent camps across the country.

Arshad Begum is a volunteer female health worker, ministering to those displaced near Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan.  She says that the area's conservative attitude has put a further strain on the victims.

She says the victims complained that they could not have anything more than a single date for the Iftari, the nightly meal that breaks the fast in Ramadan.  She says they insisted on this practice, even though they had nothing to eat in the early morning meal.

Some of the more fortunate Pakistanis who did not suffer in the flooding have donated items to the families living in tent camps.  Others are dedicating their Eid prayers to the victims.

Doctor Khurshid attended prayers in the capital, Islamabad. He says everyone must remember the flood victims. He urges people to share their Eid greetings with the survivors and try to help them.

Meanwhile, local television showed Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi Saturday participating in special prayers for the victims.

The worst flooding in Pakistan's history has killed more than 1,700 people and affected nearly 20 million others. Even as the rains die down, the Pakistani government and humanitarian agencies are voicing concern regarding a follow-up heath disaster.

Oxfam estimates that in less than three weeks, the number of cases of acute diarrhea, skin diseases, acute respiratory infections and suspected malaria have all tripled.

Some flood victims also have turned their anger on the government and the military, in at least one case looting a relief convoy in the city of Sukkur loaded with supplies.  The victims accused government officials and the Pakistani army of keeping the supplies, a claim both entities deny.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid