Friday, August 27, 2010

Aid for Pakistan? It's Complicated

It's time to get back to doing things I love - exploring housing needs in a changing world.

Just look at what is happening in Pakistan. A fifth of the country is washing away down the Swat River system. Whole cities, not to mention the main agricultural land, hundreds of centuries old villages, roads, railway systems - just gone! When flooding stops, the problems will really begin. Given the world's ever-shortening attention span, once the countryside dries up, all those millions of people will continue to need support, housing, potable and reliable water, roads, railways, bridges, sanitation, electricity, and it will all need to be long-term support.

The land is gone, the soil has washed away - yes, frequently because of very poor land management practices - all the more reason for international organizations, both governmental and NGO, to insist on accountability from the Pakistani government, such as it is, for any and all monies, goods and services the rest of the world sends its way. And given that the Pakistani government consists of wealthy landowners and business leaders (dynastic), the same ones who own the devastated landscape and all the lives within it, there is little reason to doubt the scepticism expressed by some of my Pakistani friends now living in Canada who are reluctant to send funding and aid 'home' since they are quite sure it will go straight into the private pockets of the wealthy castes.

I wish all those poor people all the best in their struggles to stay alive - can't help being sceptical, myself.

Regardless, there are millions of lives at stake - if you can find a way to help even one person, please do so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Pakistan_floods
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