Widows helplessly await aid in Swat -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Widows helplessly await aid in Swat

SWAT: Despite the mobilisation of global and domestic NGOs, philanthropic organisations, widows remain the worst-affected and most deserving group of flood survivors.

Women, who have lost their spouses either to devastating floods or terrorism, helplessly await the delivery of humanitarian aid after having lost hope about getting any help from the government.

Dilfaroza, a 60-year-old widow from the Manga area in Kabal Tehsil, is solely responsible for the livelihood of her family. “During the time of Taliban ascendancy in the area, half of my house was razed to the ground in shelling. Now floods have washed away everything we owned. Nobody has yet even bothered to ask if we need anything. I am old and ill and I have no one to go to the relief camp and bring food stuff,” she said. She says she has no means to replace the things she lost to the flood.

“I have not seen my only son, who is a drug addict, for more than 10 years. I do not know whether he is dead or alive,” she said with tears in her eyes. Her days are now spent in a struggle to survive. Dilfaroza manages to survive because of the generosity of her neighbours, but she still has to go from door to door.

Sajida, a 33-year-old widow and mother of three children, was also badly affected by the floods. “My husband died after being wounded in the army operation. Now I live with my in-laws but the flood has swept away everything we owned. No one has yet come to us with help.”

“We unsuccessfully tried to get compensation for the death of my husband (as was announced by the government). I do not know how to get to the government authorities because I am illiterate and there is no one to help me,” she added.

Bibi Ranga, another widow from the Shah Dairai area of Kabal Tehsil, who was sitting among the other women, said: “Our house was destroyed after being hit by missiles. We have filed our case with the government. Different teams visited us, but we have still not gotten any compensation. Government officials only come and take photos, they do nothing. And what little was left of our house was devastated by the flood. I don’t know where to go or whose door to knock,” she said with desperation creeping in her voice.
Source: The Express Tribune
Date:9/23/2010