News / Asia

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

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid