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Pakistan: record floods and armed violence - a devastating combination one year on

25-07-2011 News Footage Ref. V F CR-R-01098 A

The floods that struck Pakistan in July 2010 went on for almost three months, wiping out villages from the far north to the deep south of the country. This was one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent times, leaving around 11 million people homeless and 2,000 dead. Infrastructure such as bridges and roads was washed away and millions of hectares of crops destroyed. One year on, tens of thousands are struggling to recover their livelihoods. A severe natural disaster coming on top of years of fighting is a horrific combination.

  • Footage available from the ICRC Video Newsroom from 25 July 2011: www.icrcvideonewsroom.org
  • TV news footage transmitted worldwide on Eurovision News Service (ENS) at 11:45 GMT, 26 July 2011
  • For more information, please contact Nicola Fell, ICRC, Geneva, tel: +41 767 359 085 or by e-mail
  • Accompanying press release can be viewed here from 26 July.

In the remote village of Baikana, Buner district, local businessman Abdul Ghafoor is one of many hit by the double effect of intense fighting and a severe natural disaster. In1999, he sold his land to fund a hydro-electric power plant, which ran well for 10 years. 65 year old Abdul Ghafoor says: "Due to the fighting, we left our homes. When we returned, the floods began and destroyed everything including this power station, which was our source of income and our only source of power, as there is no State power supply here."

Since 2009, military operations, political and sectarian violence and high levels of crime have caused successive rounds of displacement, leaving tens of thousands of residents without basic services. In recent months, there has been a further increase in violence throughout Pakistan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society are working to help victims of the floods and violence. For Abdul Ghafoor and his neighbours, ICRC water engineers have rehabilitated his hydro-electric station, which remains the sole power-generating facility in the region. In other districts, ICRC engineers have repaired water storage and filtration equipment supplying more than 30,000 local residents.

Abdul Ghafoor explains: "Then the Red Cross team came, surveyed the damaged power station and repaired it and provided us with machinery. Now it is supplying electricity to the people, running the flourmill, people's fans at home and other machines. We are very happy with it."

In fighting and flood affected areas, employment opportunities are extremely scarce. Bakhtar Jahan is 30 years old and has five children. She is the only earner for the family and used to walk to the nearest town each day to find work: "We are very poor people," says Jahan. "Before the fighting in our village, I used to work in the houses of local landlords to make ends meet. Then we had to flee due to the heavy fighting. When we came back, we found the little we had was gone.”

Women-led households are particularly marginalized here and often left out of the registration process for relief projects. So the ICRC has designed a project to specifically benefit widow-led families, providing them with cows and calves.

ICRC livestock specialist Abu Bakr explains: "The price of milk is very high and most widows cannot afford milk for their children. This is why we assist them by giving them cows, so the widows have milk for their children and also once the calf grows, they can sell the cow and get the income."

Selling the milk and meat gives these women a stable, long-term income. Bakhtar Jahan says: "I will work very hard with this cow. I'll take care of her feed and hygiene. If she milks enough, I'll save some and sell it to make some money. Once her calf grows up, I'll sell it for a good price. I'll work hard for this."

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ICRC has provided 269 micro-economic grants to help people start small business ventures in the districts of Buner and Dir, and within Bagh and Haveli in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Extra information:

- The ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Society provided food, water and medical services for over 1.4 million people in 2010

SHOTLIST:

Various, Pakistan, August 2010 (REF CRF 01066A)

0:00 Buffalos in Naivella village (still flooded), Dera Ismail Khan district
0:04 Boat carrying people, goods and a motorbike on River Kabul, Nowshera village
0:09 Destroyed houses by River Kabul
0:13 Man searching for belongings where he used to live (Naivella village, Dera Ismail Khan district)

Baikhana Village, Buner district, August 2010
0:17 Gushing waterfall
0:24 Two girls carrying water on their heads
0:33 Damaged hydro-electric plant and mudslide
0:39 ICRC team talks to hydro-electric plant owner Abdul Ghafoor (white beard) in front of damage
0:56 Various of ICRC team and Ghafoor climbing up inside damaged structure and inspecting machinery

Baikhana Village, Buner district, June 2011
1:24 SOUNDBITE Abdul Ghafoor, hydro-electric plant owner (in Urdu):
''Due to the fighting, we left our homes and went to Charssada, Mardan and Buner. When we returned, the floods began and destroyed everything including this power station, which was also source of income. The damage cut our electricity supply. It was our only source of power as there’s no State power supply.”
Baikhana Village, Buner district, August 2010
1:48 Pan of damage

Baikhana Village, Buner district, June 2011
1:56 SOUNDBITE Abdul Ghafoor, hydro-electric plant owner (in Urdu):
“Then the Red Cross team came, who surveyed the damaged power station and rehabilitated it again, provided us machines. Now it is providing electricity to the population, runs the flourmill, fans at home and other machines. We are now very happy with it.
2:13 Pan of repaired electrical wires
2:22 Abdul Ghafoor enters new control room of plant
2:31 Water gushing down stream
2:36 Various of Ghafoor opening valve
2:48 Close up of electric board
3:01 Repaired pipe and electric wires for the electricity
3:05 Various of flourmill

Village Shaheedi Sar, Soray Union Council, Buner District, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province, 30 June 2011
3:38 GVs Buner Valley
3:50 SOUNDBITE Bakhtar Jahan (in Pashto):
"We are very poor people. Before the fighting in our village, I used to work in the houses of local landlords to make ends meet. Then we had to flee due to the heavy fighting. When we came back, we found the little we had was gone.”
4:04 Various of veiled women listening to government's livestock training
4:52 Various of women putting thumb print on animal donation certificate
5:26 Bakhat Jahan veiled all in black walks away with certificate

Shaheedi Sar Village, Buner District, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province, June 2011
5:30 Pan of cows
5:35 Man tags cow
06:01 Man vaccinates cow
06:18 SOUNDBITE Abu Bakr ICRC (in English)
"The price of milk is very high and most widows cannot afford milk for their children. This is why we assist them by giving them cows, so the widows have milk for their children and also once the calf grows, they can sell the cow and get the income."
6:41 ICRC caravans arrive in village with cows
6:47 Various of cows being unloaded
7:05 Jahan receiving cow with certificate
7:21 Men loading cow feed into van
7:27 Various of Jahan and others walking cows and calves home
7:54 Jahan arrives home and ties cow up
08:13 SOUNDBITE Bakhtar Jahan (in Pashto):
"I will work very hard with this cow. I'll take care of her feed and hygiene. If she milks enough, I'll save some and sell it to make some money. Once her calf grows up, I'll sell it for a good price. I'll work hard for this."
08:34 Jahan milks cow and gives milk to her children to drink
09:16 END

 

For more information, please contact:

Michael O'Brien, ICRC Pakistan, tel: +92 300 850 8138
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Pakistan, tel: +92 300 850 56 9
Christian Cardon, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 26/+ 41 79 251 93 02


  • Copyright: ICRC access all
  • Release year: 2011 + archive footage 2010
  • Production locations: Buner District, Pakistan
  • Languages available: English, Urdu, Pashto
  • Reference: V F CR-R-01098 A

Format: Mpeg2 / 16:9 anamorphic / SD