In early September 2010, Dr Asad Khan visited some of the flood affected regions in the province of Sindh in Pakistan. There he took the opportunity to treat a number of the flood affected victims located in 'make-shift' camps across the districts of Makli, Sajjawal and Thatta.
The relief effort involved the medical treatment of flood victims suffering with illness including gastroenenteritis, chest infections and various skin conditions. The relief effort also provided an opportunity to identify methods to effectively manage illness in the region. One of the main causes of illness arose as a result of diarrhoea due to a lack of supply of clean drinking water. Subsequently a large percentage of the population suffered from the long term effects of dehydration.
Damage included destroyed crop fields, homes that had been washed away and water supplies disrupted due to 'broken' hand pumps (the main source of drinking water used by villagers in rural areas) as well as broken supply lines. As a result the flood affected victims would resort to using their own clothes in some cases to filter off 'dirty stagnant' flood water for personal use or have to resort to travelling number of kilometres by foot to the nearest town to find a source of suitable drinking water.
It was therefore proposed that one of the problem areas identified above should be targeted for relief. Subsequently a plan was made to regenerate the supply of water to the victims in the flood affected regions. Having discussed the plan with local disaster management officials and the victims themselves it was discovered that the best way to do this would be via the installation of a number of hand pumps in the worst affected areas.
Hand pumps provide an efficient and cost effective way of extracting clean drinking water from underneath the grounds surface. A single pump could be installed within a few hours and could easily cater for a population of up to a thousand people if not more, supplying their village with an adequate drinking water source for anything up to twenty years before the pump would need replacing.
Through social events organised by Purple Rock and the philanthropic efforts of affiliate organisations, funds have been raised to pay for the purchase and installation of a number of Hand pumps in the worst affected regions.
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