The memories of October 8 earthquake of 2005 are still fresh in our minds. People displaced in the catastrophe five years back are still not completely back to their normal lives and we have another one to deal with. This time the flash floods have effected the whole of the country, the number of displaced people spread across Pakistan is estimated to be above 13 million and the figures are still rising.
From the earthquake gained a lot of experience, although sadly not much of that experience was used to help improve our disaster management system but at least the social workers know the challenges are hugely difficult to deal with the aftermaths of such disaster .
Mostly all the privet NGOs active in relief work are emphasizing of specific medical supplies, food items of high nutrition values, nonperishable food, clothing’s and daily use items important for the displeased population of the country. But there is much more needed besides these essential supplies for the welfare and survival of these highly vulnerable people trapped in the crises.
We have already seen reports of crimes like robberies taking place in areas hit by floods, as people have left their valuables in their flooded houses, opportunists and criminals are having a field day stealing from the un attended houses. But that is not the only crime, and they are not the only criminals who are active and having a field day making the most of the misery of the people for their own selfish beings.
Countless cases of human trafficking have been recorded during the time of Oct 8 earthquake 5 years back but than the situation was different. The people displaces due to the earthquake were in camps and not much trafficking, abduction was possible from the centralized camped city, but hear the disaster is spread across the country and the refugees are taking shelters in schools and which ever dry land they find convenient, the refugee camps too are not much centralized and are divided is pockets.
Obviously a large number of children are among the survivors, and since the chaos and confusion is still there, and the disaster is still folding , to make it worst most NGOs are still busy collecting food daily use supplies and making them available to the flood victims, not many are thinking on this line, which makes the environment quite favorable time for the criminals involved in human traffickers, and sex trade crimes. Children, specially girl children, under treatment in make shift hospitals, trapped and left behind, or those who have lost most of their families are at a high vulnerability risk.
The need is to keep a careful check on such children, keep an eye out for suspicious people. Provide security to the refugee camps. NGOs and international organizations should take immediate measures and the state should be on a lookout for such criminals. There is also a need to raise voice and make people aware of the danger so they can too can keep an eye on suspicious people. And report them to the government, army police or alert the NGOs working in their areas.
It is a hard time for all of us, those who are privileged should play an active role, donating and helping the people who are currently struggling for their survival, it is our moral and ethical duty to provide the support and help our fellow human being in needs, with money, food and in which ever way we can help them. It is also our duty to voice our concerns and urge the government and people concerned to help and support there people. Millions of lives today are depending upon us it is time we stand up, strong for them.