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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid