Hingol Flood Relief
by Mahera Omar
Hingol Flood Relief is a documentary about the devastation caused by the cyclone that hit the coastal areas of Baluchistan in the summer of 2007, and the relief efforts of a small group of individuals from Karachi for the scattered settlements in the Hingol National Park.
Tropical Cyclone Yemyin affected a total of 2 million people and left more than 800,000 homeless in Sindh and Baluchistan. The flash floods that followed the heavy rains washed away in places the Makran Coastal Highway, which is a vital artery connecting Karachi with the major cities along the coastline in Baluchistan. The highway crosses the Hingol river at Aghore in the district of Lasbela. With the many tributaries feeding rainwater to the river, it swelled up to a point where it had completely swallowed up the bridge at Aghore, leaving settlements in that area marooned on either side for days. With links to the rest of the country cut off, supplies to the stranded people had to be air-dropped by helicopter.
In the wake of such devastation, a small group of individuals belonging to the 4X4 Offroaders Club of Karachi decided to collect and personally deliver two truckloads of relief goods to the people of Hingol National Park. Situated along the Makran Coast in Baluchistan, and occupying an area of about 1,650 square kilometers, it is the largest National Park in the country. A few Park Wardens were dispatched on camelback to inform the settlements scattered throughout the Park area of the group’s arrival a few days earlier.
Many of the villagers from inside the park walked for up to 2 days to reach the Coast Guard camp at Aghore where the relief goods were to be distributed. Approximately 450 families were provided cooking utensils and food rations that included flour, sugar, salt, ghee, tea, matches, and powdered milk. A medical camp was also set up and medicines for common ailments distributed for a a number of households.
Posted in Video, September 28, 2007, by Mahera Omar