September 9th, 2020
By Shaukat Korai
Local charities took the lead in helping citizens trapped in flood-hit areas after heavy rains submerged many localities in Karachi. Many residents were left homeless as rainwater flooded their homes, sweeping away their belongings and food items. Close to twenty charities including Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation, Noble Foundation, Elaj Trust, HANDS, Chhipa, and Feed The Poor took on the onerous task of rescuing and feeding residents in the city.
Wajahat Noble, a student of architecture at Manchester University, was among the many volunteers who worked to provide relief to the weary citizens. “The Noble Foundation distributed Biryani and 6-litre water bottles to stranded residents in Sarjani and Kharadar localities,” he says. Wajahat Noble says he would like to continue to help people along with his education, adding that the Noble Foundation rescued two stray cats from the rain-hit areas.
The posh locality of Defence was badly inundated by rainwater. In a rare move, the residents took out a demonstration against the Clifton Cantonment Board for failing to drain out rainwater in affected neighbourhoods.
CBC failed to rescue residents
The charity, Elaj Trust, undertook operations to pump out rainwater from homes and streets in Defence. Jibran Nasir, chief of Elaj Trust, says serving humanity is like worship for him. Nasir, who contested recent elections, says rainwater inundated localities for five to six days and residents had no electricity for 11 days in his constituency. “An area of one and a half kilometer was submerged in rainwater. It took about 60 tankers to drain rainwater at Bukhari locality,” he points out. Nasir blames the Clifton Cantonment Board for failure to promptly drain out water from localities in Defence. “We didn’t see a single CBC vehicle on the first day of flooding. After the uproar on social media, the CBC tankers were seen pumping out water on the third day,” he adds. Nasir claims that the board had neither working tankers nor pumping machines.
Another charity, HANDS Pakistan, began operations to clean and provide drinking water to residents in Karachi’s slum areas. “We have launched a Clean Karachi Campaign at 21 points in slum areas. The campaign is to clean roads and choked sewers. Besides, the charity is also supplying potable water in slums through tankers,” Tanveer Ahmed, CEO of HANDS Pakistan says.
The charity, Feed The Poor, distributed food and water to distraught residents in Sarjani Town, Yousaf Goth, and adjoining slum areas. “We supplied provisions to people in Orangi Town for eight days,” Muhammad Mustafa Mumtaz, president of the charity, says. On average, the charity provided food to 1200 stranded residents daily.
Kharadar Still Flooded
The agony and misery of residents in Kharadar, a neighborhood in District South of Karachi, is not over as rainwater still inundated many roads and streets. A shopkeeper in the locality complains that his business was shut for about 10 days due to stagnant rainwater outside. “People are not coming to the shops due to garbage and sewerage.” Another shopkeeper says the residents had pooled in money to clean their locality after last year’s rains, adding that officials from authorities just visit and leave without doing anything to clean up the neighbourhood. Residents in Kharadar appreciate work done by the charities in the city but this must not absolve civic agencies from doing their duty.