Monday, August 24, 2009

Floods Create Havoc in Mardan & Swabi

Frontier Primary Health Care has been called again to respond quickly to a humanitarian crisis, this time even closer to home as the recent devastating floods in Mardan and Swabi districts have played havoc in their own communities of Ismailia as well as Kagan and Baghica Afghan refugee camps. This most recent disaster comes just weeks after the Internally Displaced Refugees in camps around Mardan had been repatriated to Swat and the camps officially closes. For several weeks following the closure of The Sheikh Yaseem town camp, where FPHC had beenproviding 24-7 coverage, FPHC staff continued to provide nutritional services to other camps as well as some medical clinics in the camps until all were closed.

On August 16th a heavy deluge of rain resulted in massive damage throughout Swabi and Mardan districts. Approximately 50% of the mud homes in the Kagan refugee camp were fully destroyed and the rest remain in dangerous condition. Ismailia Health Center was also badly hit with flood waters filling the clinics with mud and debris. The home of several staff were also affected including FPHC's hardworking, stalwart administrator, Said Zaman. Luckily he and his family all escaped unscathed.

The homes in the refugee camps were especially badly affected, as they are made of mud and wattle. Many of the injuries and deaths that occurred were a result of collapse of the homes which happened suddenly and catastrophically.
As many as 27 people died in the flash floods with many more injured and thousands now without homes. The EMOC Center in Ismailia as well as the Health Centre there, both busy and active clinical sites suffered serious damage to both medical and non-medical supplies.

FPHC vehicles and staff assisted in Kagan with the evacuation of people from the worst of the flooded area as well as arranging for cooked food for those affected. The health center at Ismailia and the emergency medical team provided emergency medical care to those injured.

There are ongoing concerns about the spread of cholera and typoid in the area. Staff and community are busy rebuilding their homes, cleaning up and shifting the debris and mud that has been left behind.Everyone is busy now cleaning up the damage and putting things right.

Photos: Kagan & Baghica Refugee camps and Ismailia.


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