News / Asia

    Some Pakistani Flood Victims Camp in Middle of Busy Roadway

    These Pakistani flood victims have set up camp near a busy roadway
    These Pakistani flood victims have set up camp near a busy roadway

    Multimedia

    Sean Maroney

    While the Pakistani government and humanitarian agencies have been making frantic efforts to provide assistance to victims of the country's worst flood disaster, millions still have received little or no help nearly a month later.  

    Brightly colored trucks are a common sight speeding down the main roadway linking Pakistan's capital Islamabad to the northwestern city of Peshawar.  Vehicles on this road can exceed 140 kilometers per hour as they speed down two lanes on either side of a narrow strip of land.

    It is on this small unpaved portion between the lanes of traffic near the Kabul River that you can see tents and plastic sheeting stretching far out of sight.

    Orange cones block one lane of traffic on either side, and groups of children and men of all ages tiredly stare at the passing vehicles, alternating between swatting at the countless flies and holding out their hands for any form of assistance.  Nearly 500 families of roughly seven members each now call this home.

    Mohammad Jan tells VOA his family, including four children, had been staying at a converted school in Peshawar, a common form of shelter for many flood victims.  But he says the camp closed because classes had restarted after the summer break.  This caused him to take his family back to their nearby flooded house.

    But he says he is glad to spend most of his time on this high-traffic road.  He says at the other place, they were not receiving aid.  He says that now on the busy roadway, they are getting enough aid.

    But from under plastic sheeting, Saif-ul-Islam says the road is a dangerous alternative.  He says that here, they also are facing many problems.  He recalls that a few accidents have taken place where children had been hit by cars.

    Every other day, Dr. Shafique, the Peshawar District surgeon, distributes medicine from two vans.  He points to large, greenish pools of standing water that lie among the tents as sources of disease.  He says that combined with the volume of traffic and lack of electricity, the victims face many hazards.

    "I think [it is] better for them to go back to their relief camps or some big refugee camps, not this.  This is haphazard I think, but it is better than nothing," said Dr. Shafique.

    The flooding in Pakistan has killed an estimated 1,600 people and completely inundated villages, infrastructure and farmland, leaving almost five-million people homeless.

    The Pakistani government has promised to give $230 to each family affected by the floods.  But for the people living along the roadway to Peshawar, they say this is nowhere near enough to reclaim their lives.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora