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Making Rural Voices a part of Disaster Contingency Planning

Cyclone PHET hit the coastal areas of Pakistan on June 6-7 2008 wrecking large-scale damage and destruction in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. Participatory Development Initiatives [PDI] being a humanitarian organization became active even before the cyclone hit the coastal areas of Pakistan. As the PHET cyclone emerged on coast of Oman, the PDI team after receiving news from the Met office, PDI circulated news through mobile sms among the communities and PDI setup especial team in Thatta, Karachi, and Balochistan.

In Thatta PDI team visited creeks of Thatta and met with communities to evacuate them from their vulnerable areas and helped the local administration to conveyance communities peoples to shift in the local administration setup camps . PDI team in Karachi held meetings with Sindh Chief Minister Advisor to Media Syed Waqar Mehdi, Sindh Chief Minister Advisor, Shermila Farroaqi to facilitate communities’ peoples of costal belts and informed them about the issues of the communities.

PDI team visited the government established camps where communities settled by government and held meeting with DCO Thatta,Manzoor Sheikh and other officials and informed them about the poor food and water facilities provided by local administration to poor communities. After visiting camps, PDI team informed the higher authorities of the Sindh government and also informed Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik about the severity of the issue. PDI team highlighted the issues being faced by communities in camps in print and electronic media and also spread the news among the foreign correspondent with pictures later BCC, quoting PDI team did story on the issues of communities who were shifted in the camps. In Badin district PDI media coordinator was touched with local administration and communities peoples later informed their issues to high up of the Sindh and federal government.

The meeting of all the partners of Oxfam GB and Oxfam Novib held at PDI House Karachi on 4th June 2010 later PDI team including Oxfam GB and Oxfam Novib visited the camps and held meeting with local administration of a Thatta district. PDI team continuous in touched with the local administration of a Gwadar and communities. PDI team after getting information from the communities of a Gwadar, informed the Interior Minister Rehman Malik about the face and agonies faced by Gwadar peoples due to heavy rain lashed out. PDI team led by its director Sikander Brohi after restoration of road service rushed to Gwadar and visited all the districts of Gwadar including Jiwani which is located near Pak-Iran border.

PDI team visited the entire UCS of Gwadar town, Pasni city, Pushkin, Surbander, Fakir Colony, Labour colony and visited far flung areas of the Gwadar later PDI published stories in the media and highlighted the issues of communities’ peoples. PDI has prepared Comprehensive Cyclone Assessment Report of Gwadar District, which is being largely circulated among different stakeholders.PDI team also held meeting with EDO Revenue Rahmat Dashati after visiting affected areas of the Gwadar district and informed him about the problems of communities. PDI mission is to serve the communities peoples and facilitate them for better livelihood in disaster situation and did advocacy among the government authorities to fulfill their responsibilities to serve the communists of coastal belts of Sindh and Balochistan.