Latest Updates

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Struggling to Stay, Scared to Leave

Niyaz Muhammad, an Islamic Relief aid worker, is based in Mardan District where Islamic Relief is working with those who have fled the fighting in Buner, Dir and Swat. In his diary he reports on the situation in an area that is struggling with more than 2 million displaced people.

Bakhtmel is a father of 13 from Buner but is living with his family in the village of Surkh Dheri. He told me that he has no intention of returning home just yet as he fears he will be returning to nothing.

"If we go back we will be living in darkness as the infrastructure has been destroyed. There is no electricity or communication facility," he said.

"My fields and my livelihood have been destroyed so there will be no way that I will be able to make a living when I go back," he explained. "This means that we will be reliant on external aid and will probably have to live in tents as our homes have been damaged and are uninhabitable."

At the moment Bakhtmel and his family don't have to live in a tent as they have been taken in by a local family.

But conditions are incredibly difficult. Two families are sharing two small rooms with just mud floors and walls and little in the way of furniture. There is no running water, scarcely enough food, no cooking facilities and just one latrine between more than 20 people.

Despite these hardships, Bakhtmel fears that if they return home they will be in a worse position, with no support at all.


Post a Comment