Development and Peace sends $100,000 to the victims of Cyclone Yemyin in Pakistan

from Development and Peace
Published on 20 Jul 2007
July 20, 2007, Montreal - Development and Peace is contributing $100,000 from its emergency fund to assist partner agency - Catholic Relief Services (CRS-Pakistan), in helping two and half thousand households (approximately 10 thousand people) out of the estimated 1.1 million households affected by flooding and other significant damages caused by Cyclone YemYin, in the Balochistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan.

"Efforts to provide emergency relief have been hampered by the ongoing rains, washed out roads and bridges, and extensive damage to airports, electricity grids, telephone networks and local markets, said Michael Casey, Executive Director of Development and Peace, "To compound these problems, many of the affected communities are geographically remote, with the seasonal monsoon rains adding to the urgency".

Cyclone Yemyin made landfall on Tuesday, June 26. The cyclone brought heavy rains and winds up to 80mph. According to the United Nations, the subsequent flooding affected 900,000 individuals, left 200,000 homeless, and resulted in at least 14 deaths in Balochistan. The flood waters continued into Sindh province destroying dams, homes, and agricultural land. The rudimentary mud brick and palm thatch homes standard to the region have been demolished. The widespread loss of livestock represents not only a serious threat to livelihoods, but also a major health risk, as decomposing corpses contaminate standing water.

Initially, the overwhelming needs were for food and non-food assistance, with emphasis on access to clean water. Affected families continue to have an urgent need for enclosure, with daytime protection from the sun and protection of key assets from the heavy rainfall. A crucial concern is also privacy for women in the conservative areas, and includes their shelter, sanitation and hygiene needs.

The assistance provided by Development and Peace will help fund three main components of the phase-two emergency response efforts: transitional shelter kits, health and hygiene kits and Cash for Work opportunities.

Transitional shelter kits: Local partner CRS Pakistan will provide technical assistance and materials to help construct durable, practical, socially-acceptable transitional shelters for monsoon season protection. Since the majority of damaged and/or destroyed homes were constructed as self-built houses - either bush stick frames with date palm leaf roofing and side walls, or mud brick structures with timber and palm leaf roofing with mud screens, households will salvage roof timbers from their damaged or destroyed houses for re-use, wherever possible. Kit materials will be appropriate for reuse in more permanent house construction, and containing locally available and easily re-usable materials (plastic sheeting, bamboo poles, binding wire) and a toolkit. The materials will ensure families are protected from the rain and sun/heat, can secure household assets and have sufficient privacy (particularly important for women). CRS will provide training for local skilled labour, so they can offer technical assistance to households in their communities in constructing their shelters.

Water/Sanitation (WatSan) kits: After heavy floods, waterborne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, and diarrhoea are the greatest threat to survival. CRS will work with 2,500 households on health and hygiene. Targeting women, as the preparers of food and primary collectors of water for their families. The focus is on water quality and appropriate hygiene and sanitation solutions. The WatSan kit includes tools and materials for making latrines, and sand filters or other water treatment equipment and integrates key public health messages focusing on personal cleanliness and skin disease prevention, water purification and water related illnesses and other appropriate sanitation practices.

Cash for Work: CRS will offer work opportunities to 2,500 households, including payment for transporting shelter materials to a site from CRS distribution hubs, hiring labour for assistance in assembling shelters and/or rehabilitating sanitation solutions. This Cash for Work approach simplifies the transport and delivery of goods to scattered and isolated communities by empowering individual households to make their own transport decisions, and to allow households, whose livelihoods (from livestock, agriculture, and industry) have been disrupted by the flooding, to access essential income.

For 40 years, Development and Peace has worked directly with organizations made up of or representing the poor and marginalized in the Global South, and provided $500 million to 15,000 projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are presently active with 200 partners in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, and in Latin America. In Canada, we are a democratic movement for international solidarity - educating the public about the root causes of poverty and mobilizing social action for change - with 13,000 members from coast to coast. Development and Peace is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada.

For Information Contact:

English Media Contact:
Wanda Potrykus
514-257-8710, ext. 365

French Media Contact:
Philippe Doucet
514-257-8710, ext. 400