Tag Archives: Abid Omar

CNN on 4×4 Offroaders Club Karachi’s Flood Relief Efforts

CNN Flood victims wait for food and water at a makeshift camp in Sukkur on August 23, 2010

Holly Yan of CNN caught up with our 2nd relief trip on August 24th and spoke with Offroaders Awab Alvi and Faisal Kapadia:

(CNN)—“Everywhere we go we see eight to 10 feet of water,” said Kapadia, who traveled through inundated villages between Shikarpur and Sukkur. “All we see are the tops of houses.”

Just a month ago, Kapadia was a recreational rider in the 4×4 Offroaders Club of Karachi. He didn’t expect to use his off-roading skills to deliver life-saving supplies to flood victims across nearly impassible terrain and waters.

“We never thought of that,” Kapadia said. “But when you see things happen like this, you can’t just sit on the side and watch thousands of people die.”

So club members, family and friends raised money for supplies to the neediest survivors.

So far the 4×4 Offroaders Club of Karachi has distributed 100 tents and about eight truckloads of food.

Photo credit: CNN

Pakistan Flooding 2010: link blog

Photo by Ali Khurshid for OffroadPakistan

So far at least 1,500 killed, 14-20 million affected, 3.5 million children at health risk, nearly 1 million houses damaged, and $1-2 billion upwards of crop damage. Possibly the low numbers of people killed has resulted in the lackluster international response. A timeline is here.

Most comprehensive source for information is ReliefWeb’s Pakistan Floods page. Frequent updates on news, situation, maps (lots of maps), and funding.

Dave’s Landslide Blog—an excellent overview of how the flooding began: The regular seasonal monsoon rains started on July 27th, initially impacting the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province (formerly NWFP). The following graph shows the sudden increase in rainfall in that region from July 29th.

Unprecendented increase in rainfall in Pakistan

“The loss of life appears to have been the result of a combination of losses in the main rivers and their tributaries, flash floods in upper catchments, collapses of mud brick houses, and landslides.”—Dave’s Landslide Blog.

Downstream the impact of the incredibly heavy rainfall on the Indus River catchment shows increased inflows.

Indus River System Hydrograph on 1st August

Daily rainfall records from the Pakistan Meteorological Department—you can map your own data! Compare the rainfall over the July and August 2008 and 2009 with what we see now. The worst seems to be behind us.

Devastating floods cut off parts of Pakistan: “Shelter, plastic sheeting and household goods are the most important gap. Stocks need to be urgently airlifted to the affected areas.”—DAWN

Continue reading Pakistan Flooding 2010: link blog

Disaster hits Baluchistan and Sindh

The year 2007 is called the ‘Visit Pakistan Year’. Nature, however, seems to be against us as rainstorms and floods have hit most parts of the country leaving thousands homeless and in desperate need of assistance. The Lal Masjid issue has overshadowed the devastation in the areas and the nation sits glued to their televisions regarding the crisis. The United Nations has deployed a five member assistance team to assess the situation in the flood hit areas, according to John Homes, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator. The greatest danger lies in the growing probability of an epidemic outbreak. According to sources, the top priority goods in need in the areas include tents, blankets and emergency medical kits but above all of water purification tablets. These tablets are known as ‘Puritabs’ are available at most local chemists. Besides these medicines, according to the Daily Times, more than forty victims of snake bites have been reported in Baluchistan, and the government is also making arrangements for anti-venom vials for the areas.

Continue reading Disaster hits Baluchistan and Sindh

JEEP TRIP ’95: The Great Idea

It all began when the Omar family was in Islamabad for the Winter Vacations. They stayed with Azam Jaffar, the mastermind who made up the Great Idea. It was a dark and dreamy night, with the rain and high winds buffeting the sides of the building. With no electricity there was nothing to do. It was then that Azam Jaffar came up with the Great Idea. He and Hamid Omar sweated for hours over a map under the suffocating heat of a candle (DarkSucker). Throughout the night they sat there hunched over the map. Then in the morning, as soon as the electricity came back, Azam Jaffar jumped and shouted, “Eureka, we have perfected the Great Idea.”

Continue reading JEEP TRIP ’95: The Great Idea