Air Mobile moving toward the goal of bringing CLEAN WATER to desperate places - PAKISTAN!
December 23, 2005 6:05am (Pakistan Time) - Islamabad, Pakistan - Report submitted by Joe Hurston
The road trip from Lahore to Islamabad began in extremely dense fog. Once the sun rose and visibility slowly returned, we could see the beautiful mountains of Pakistan. Yet the haunting reality that literally millions of Pakistanis have been left homeless and nearly 500,000 are at extreme risk in those very mountains sobered Dr. Shaikh and myself as we worked toward Islamabad. Deaths have begun to occur from freezing and of course, the ever present diseases associated with such a disaster.
Those fleeing the cold find themselves in thousands of make-shift tent cities where conditions are deplorable. That is where we can help by bringing the ability to take existing contaminated water and purify it with the Vortex Voyagers TM. Our mission today is to continue our appeals to various officials on the need for these units and the funding to pay for them.
Dr. Shaikh has amazing connections and great influence here in Pakistan. We found ourselves in high level meetings explaining the strength and benefits of the VORTEX Voyager TM. We made significant headway toward our goal. Later this morning we will be meeting with a representative from the American Embassy. Then we hope to travel to the Western Frontier and visit some disaster areas and meet with more officials. As you can see, the days are long and tedious, but we must keep marching toward our goal!
Late yesterday evening I ran across another gripping story depicting the plight of these precious people. This is what is driving us forward. Here's the story....
PAKISTAN: Widows in quake area battle to survive
22 Dec 2005 09:19:55 GMT
MACHIARI VALLEY, 22 December (IRIN) - Since Mariyam Nessa's husband died of an asthma attack while ploughing his fields five years ago, her neighbours in the hamlet of Duliard have always helped out.
But after the earthquake, which killed over 86,000 people and devastated the remote Machiara Valley, where Duliard lies, her neighbours have no time to help Mariyam as they must battle for their own survival.
Mariyam lost her husband before the disaster but thousands of others lost their husbands in the quake that ravaged the region. Now these widows are struggling to survive.
The earthquake flattened Mariyam's home and all that remains is a deep, black hole where the huge mud roof collapsed, burying all her possessions. With no one to help her, it took Mariyam six days to cobble together a crude, makeshift shelter from bits of wood and ragged shawls. But it does not protect her or her children against the cold. The icy wind howls in and the shelter is likely to collapse with the first heavy snowfall.
"It's hard without a man as there's nobody to help me. I must do everything myself," she says.
To survive Mariyam must plough the hard ground with her bare hands and harvest her corn and potato crops. Her children are either too small or too ill to help. Her eldest son, who is 18, suffers from the same crippling asthma that killed her husband and she is afraid that if he pushes himself too far, he too will have a fatal asthma attack.
Since the earthquake dried up the mountain springs in the area, Mariyam and her small children must now walk several hours up a perilous mountain track to fetch water from a spring in another valley, balancing heavy metal urns on their heads.
"These women do a massive amount of work and it's extremely hard, they're very vulnerable and there's no one taking care of them," said Maggie Tookey from the UK-based charity Edinburgh Direct.
The crops the villagers harvest are not enough to nourish and support them through the bitter Himalayan winter months when these isolated communities are cut off from the outside world by up to 3 m of snow. To survive, the men in Duliard, as in many farming communities across Pakistani-administered Kashmir, spend four months a year working as cheap labourers, often earning less than a dollar a day in cities across Pakistan.
But widows like Mariyam do not have this extra source of income. Instead, their lives are clouded by debt, as they must borrow money and buy food on credit from other villagers and shops in towns.
"I sell potatoes and corn but this isn't enough to survive so everything I buy is bought on credit," says Mariyam.
The village elders in Machiara Union Council, which is made up of 10 villages and 1,104 households, say that there are some 200 widows who are without adequate shelter or aid.
"The number might even be more," said Rahmat Ali, tracking guide working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
"These widows are getting aid last and are suffering more than families who have men around to help," he said.
The women are also suffering from more medical conditions, according to Dr Zulfkar Ali who works with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
"These women suffer from joint pain due to carrying bigger loads on their shoulders and doing even more work than they usually do," Dr Ali said.
"As well as cutting hay for animals, harvesting crop, milking, manage livestock, cooking, cleaning and looking after their children they now have the added pressure of surviving under these conditions. It is too much for them," he said.
Mariyam says two of her small children are ill and she is frightened for the future. Since the IOM arrived in Duliard, she now has a blanket and a sheet of tarpaulin, but she says she needs help to rebuild her house and mend her ruined land, a task that could take up to four months.
"Before the earthquake people in the villages would help us and look after us," she says. "But now they don't have time. We've been forgotten."
This widow is not forgotten. Thank God her story is being told. It is not by chance that you've come across this blog. Please consider helping.
This disaster is so real and it seems so few are even talking about it or reporting on it. From the very beginning, I stated that the death-toll from this disastrous earthquake could easily surpass the December 26, 2004 Tsunami. Well, without some miraculous intervention and a great concentrated effort, this could very well come to pass. PLEASE continue to pray with us and do all that you can to help. I literally plead with you in behalf of those who are helpless and vulnerable. I am personally moved by the thought of "What would Jesus do?" That is why we must help these precious people. Don't hesitate to write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
President - Air Mobile
PS - Please continue to read the following reports to see how this tragic and incredible story has been unfolding. God Bless You and thanks again for taking the time to read this report.